Smith: We are all Ooltewah Owls

Ooltewah High School sign

When I was in sixth grade, my buddy Mike and I raced back to our classroom after lunch. Flying around a corner, we literally ran into our tall, lanky principal. He had us follow him to the front of the classroom as our classmates filed in and took their places at their desks. He made a little speech about following rules, then gave Mike and I three sharp whacks on our backsides with a huge paddle he carried with him. I was angry and embarrassed - but I never ran on a sidewalk again, nor did anyone in my class.

That memory has come back over the past weeks following the allegations of barbaric sexual misconduct by students in our local schools. How did we get from the days of school administrators like my former principal teaching children like me that their actions have consequences to the tragic