Summer vacation, 2019, is over and done with.

School’s back in session and I think I heard a collective “HALLELUJAH!” go up from parents all over East Tennessee! Lol.

Summer vacations are much shorter today, unfortunately for the kids, mostly due to state and federal regulations and good ol’ government bureaucracy and red tape.

I remember well the “good old days” when the beginning a new school year meant that us young’un’s showed up at school on the Friday before Labor Day — for a couple of hours — to get our books and room assignments. The first full day of our new school term began on the Tuesday following the holiday.

It was that way the entire time I was in school.

In L.A. (Lower Alabama) in those days, if was sort of a necessity.

Those may have been the “good old days” but, honey, let me tell you, in those non-air conditioned, 1930’s-era saunas in the Heart of Dixie in the 1960’s, summertime in those buildings was as hot as blue blazes.

If the heat didn’t get you the humidity would.

  • You don’t know HOT until you sit in an un-air conditioned classroom when its 100 degrees outside and the humidity is running about that same percentage.

Even in early September, it was still miserably hot in that region and the only A/C we had at good ol’ Butler Elementary was the few box fans that our teachers — bless them! — brought to school.

I do miss those days, though, especially with the now much shorter summer vacations that students have.

Our last day of class in the spring was usually early May, so we had more than three full months of “time off” to enjoy ourselves or, if we were old enough, to get summer jobs.

Schools were much different in other ways back then, too.

I can remember my first- through fourth-grade teachers keeping a Bible and an old hymnbook on their desks.

Every morning it was an honor — and I mean that sincerely — when they asked for volunteers to read a verse of Scripture and pick out an old gospel favorite we wanted to sing. Nobody forced us to do it. We were mostly raised in church-going families and it was a natural extension of what we lived everyday.

Shame on the late atheist queen Madelyn Murray O’Hare and the liberal left-wing looney-tunes at the U.S. Supreme Court at the time for messing that up and for unlawfully legislating from their lofty benches the perversion of the freedom of religion clause in the First Amendment to the Constitution into something that the Founding Fathers never, ever intended.

My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Hazel Taylor, said she didn’t care what any old bunch of Supreme Court justices said ... NONE OF THEM, by gosh, were big or bad enough to drive to Butler, Alabama and tell HER that HER students couldn’t sing an old hymn and have morning prayer if they wanted to.

We more Hazel Taylors’ today!

America, and especially our schools, were much safer and calmer back then and the government’s own figures prove it.

In the early 1960’s — before SCOTUS started messing with the Constitution and said it is legal to slaughter unborn human babies but illegal to pray in class — the greatest worries teachers faced in their classrooms from students were (in order):

#1 chewing gum;

#2, spitballs; and

#3, boys pulling girls’ hair.


Contrast that with todays classroom issues ... drug and alcohol abuse, sexual promiscuity, suicide, teenage pregnancies, cyber bullying, guns, knives and bombs, and a total lack of respect for authority, discipline, and even rock-solid U.S. History and customs.

My heart goes out to teachers of today who are expected to help “raise” their students, many of whom have little to no parental supervision, discipline or love at home, and to school staffers whose hands are tied by a bevy of laws that prevent teachers, bus drivers and others from disciplining (within reason) unruly or potentially violent students without fear of a “civil rights” lawsuit.

In my own school days, officials applied the “board of education” liberally to the “seat of learning” ... with amazing success!

The lot of us from my era grew up just fine, thank you, suffering no ill-effects from having taken our turns trudging slowly down that lonnnnnnnng hallway to “God’s” office (the principal) where “judgment” (the dreaded ping-pong paddle) awaited.

And, as most of us who suffered through episodes of corporal punishment in those hallowed halls of knowledge knew too well, we could expect Round #2 when we got home and God’s Able Assistant (Daddy) would himself get a’hold of our backsides with his belt or a crape myrtle switch.

Physical abuse? No. It wasn’t. Not me or any my classmates were ever physically harmed or scarred for life because of a little tough love discipline. And having personally experienced a few whacks from said paddle myself at various times during my elementary career, I speak from experience!

Emotional distress? Now that may have been an issue (ha)!

And for what its worth, in those days when schools could actually discipline students, when “pray” wasn’t a dirty, four-letter word, and when teachers could actually TEACH history honestly and without fear of ruffling some idiot’s politically-correct feathers, America was a much better, much more respectful, and much safer place.

That’s my view.

What say you?