The Chief Operating Officer (the 21st century version of a superintendent, I guess) of the Philadelphia School District believes that having kids repeatedly write sentences as punishment is good thing.

His comments came in response to an incident last week at Cramp Elementary School in West Kensington, where disciplinarian Fred Creel was removed from his post in part because he required children to write sentences 100 times as a form of punishment. School officials told Creel, who has been moved to a teaching assignment at Cramp, that they considered such assignments a form of corporal punishment and detrimental to the education process.

While I don’t agree with the "school officials" who think this is some kind of corporal punishment, I’m not clear on the purpose of using it in the first place. I’m also not sure why the superintendent seems to be proud of being assigned this penalty when he was in school.

Vallas recalled that when he was a child, his teachers and mother gave him those kinds of tasks. For example, he remembers having to fill a blackboard with: "I will not talk in class."

"If you counted the lengths of the blackboards in miles, then I did about 10 miles of repetitive writing in my lifetime," he said. "It used to have an effect on me. It also improved my handwriting."

Maybe that last sentence is the justification but I would think there would be more appropriate penalties for children, ones that more directly address the problem.

By the way. Did you notice that I managed to ignore the obvious joke related to requiring kids to do repetitative writing at a school called Cramp? :-)