by Max Brantley
News of corporal punishment comes in bunches.
* In Mississippi, a federal lawsuit has been filed to end corporal punishment in that state. It's one of 20, along with Arkansas, that still allow adults to hit children with legal protection. The suit argues that the paddle is disproportionately applied to blacks. Arkansas's disciplinary record tends to run in the same direction.
* There's the Jackson, Miss., basketball coach who used a weight belt to whip players — short of criminal assault, a judge has ruled.
* There's the Texas student whose mother says he's been paddled 50 times — proof, if nothing else, of the value of the practice.
* There's the Mississippi student hospitalized in Memphis after a paddling.
A billboard opposing paddling in schools has been put up on Interstate 30 and in other state capitals of states where paddling is still allowed. Hasn't drawn the favorable attention of any legislator here yet.