M. SCOTT MORRIS: Paddle’ list might not be worth it

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

The calendar says summer doesn’t start until June 20 but most of us know summer truly begins when school ends.
In honor of this important transition, here’s a pop quiz:
On Friday, my family was on Tupelo Public School District time. What time will we be on come Monday?
Too easy, right? Of course, I’m talking about grandparent time. The next couple of months will be dedicated to making sure my kids get plenty of chances to be out of my house and in their grandparents’ houses.
I’ll miss them, but I’ll enjoy missing them, if you know what I mean.
Not so fast
Before we leave the school year behind, we had a bit of news this week that started tongues wagging in Northeast Mississippi.
A Lee County resident was tazed twice during a parent-principal conference that got out of hand. According to the official account, the woman was hit with a taser when she refused to reel in her use of profane language.
My colleagues, Chris Kieffer and JB Clark, combined to write the Mighty Daily Journal’s story, and one bit of information got under my skin.
The student in question was on a “Do Not Paddle” list. This incident didn’t involve paddling, but questions remain:
* Who knew there was a “Do Not Paddle” list?
* And why wasn’t I on it when I got nabbed for throwing rocks in sixth grade?
My parents were old school, so I figured my tail end could handle whatever came my way.
But that first whack hit me hard and, sweet buttermilk biscuits, a flood of choice words fled to the front of my mind.
These days, I’ve got plenty of padding on my backside, but it was practically skin on bone back then. The only thing that kept me from screaming a string of four-letter words was a full understanding of the consequences. I wouldn’t have been able to sit down ever again.
The second whack was worse than the first. I think Vice Principal Green suspected all that foul language was floating around my noggin, so he added extra pep to his swing.
It was a long walk back to class, and everyone knew what’d happened. Little punk sixth-graders pointed and laughed. It was not the most pleasant of days, but I never threw rocks at Mountain Gap Middle School again.
Now, I find out my parents could’ve put me on a “Do Not Paddle” list.
But would I have wanted to be on such a list? I remember how Vice Principal Green tore into my posterior. Imagine if he’d been forced to funnel all of his considerable energy into thinking up an alternative punishment.
If he’d said, “Mr. Morris, you may take your paddling or another form of discipline to be named later,” the possibilities would’ve had me shaking in my Fruit of the Looms.
No, the smart thing was to bend over and take what I had coming.
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.

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