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Ol fashioned solutions
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Boy, times have changed.

Once upon a time cheating in school was limited to the students. Now it appears there are some school districts with teachers and/or administrators who can’t keep their eyes on their own paper.

The Atlanta school system has become the poster child for chicanery. The bizarre thing about this cheating scandal in student testing is that the students appear to the ones who didn’t do anything wrong.

Cheating is a simple equation: you don’t do it and if you do, and do it long enough, you will get caught.

A classmate named Odgen Heinkritter spent hours finding the most exotic ways imaginable to cheat. To be fair, Odgen was not bright and considered a wheelbarrow high tech equipment. Still, had he spent half the time studying as he did trying to cheat he would have been fine. Instead, he cheated, got caught and paid the price.

But this malfeasance goes beyond the classroom and that is even worse that what ol’ Odgen tried to do.

We are yet to know who is involved or how widespread this cheating scandal is, except suffice to say finding one person fouling the results is one too many.

There are no acceptable excuses for their actions and those found responsible should be held up to public ridicule and embarrassment, if for no other reason than to demonstrate to youngsters no one is above the rules.

Terminating their employment is certainly in order but there is a better and time honor tradition of punishment available, and one ol’ Odgen came to know well.

These people should be paddled.

Bring them in front of the entire student body, bend them over a desk and paddle their fanny.

It would be best to use one of those old fashion pride and joy paddles many teachers once had – the long varnished board with holes drilled in it so you get less wind resistance.

I, uh, heard these things would get your attention.

I realize corporal punishment is out of style but it should be revived just for this occasion. It would be delightful to see a person caught changing test results sitting on a pillow at their dismissal hearing.

And yes, the person at the top must go. Captain Smith was not at the wheel of the Titanic when it hit the iceberg but the person in charge is responsible for the ship even if a propeller falls off — especially if a propeller falls off.

It is likely the investigation will reveal only a few rotten apples are responsible for this mess and one of the tragedies is that the actions of a few taint everyone.

Certainly those found responsible should be fired, and if criminal charges can be brought against them, all the better.

The lesson needs to be that this will not be tolerated and will never be allowed to happen again.

A good paddling would help remind everyone of that. It even worked for ol’ Odgen.

Ric Latarski is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics and can be reached at