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Jeb Bush Links Corporal Punishment To Lack Of School Shootings In 1995 Book

"To date, Walton County has never experienced a shooting at any of its schools."

Posted on June 9, 2015, at 3:44 p.m. ET


Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush linked corporal punishment in schools to a lack of school shootings in his 1995 book, Profiles in Character.

Bush's anecdote comes in a chapter titled "The Restoration of Shame."

"We have also lost shame in our schools, too. Specifically, there is little shame in poor academic performance or classroom misconduct," wrote Bush. "We now see many students who do not care if the teacher yells at them or if their test results are less than stellar. In many of Florida's largest school districts, there is little that the teacher can do to make students feel some sense of shame."

Bush wrote that in Walton County, Florida, corporal punishment was still in use and was "very effective." He noted at the conclusion of the anecdote that the county had never experienced a shooting at any of its schools.

"In some school districts, such as Walton County, one of the oldest forms of shame, corporal punishment, is alive and well, and despite protests by some parents and Florida's PTAs, the students in Walton have actually found that this doling out of shame is very effective," Bush wrote. "The students of these schools will tell you, as will anybody who experienced corporal punishment in school, that it is not the brief spanking that hurts but the accompanying shame."

"A senior valedictorian of one high school in Walton County told a reporter, 'We feel ashamed when it happens to us, but when you're in the classroom and you want to learn and somebody else won't let you learn, well, they are dealt with.'

"To date, Walton County has never experienced a shooting at any of its schools."

A Bush spokesperson didn't immediately respond to a BuzzFeed News inquiry on whether Bush still supported the use of corporal punishment.

Bush wrote the book after losing his 1994 run for Florida governor. BuzzFeed News purchased a company of the book on Amazon last week.

The Huffington Post earlier reported that Bush wrote about the loss of stigmatization surrounding out-of-wedlock births and the need to restore what he called "public shame."

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