Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Left-handedness and School Trauma

Here are some links and quotes about left-handed kids being forced by schools to be right-handed:

http://blog.computeractive.co.uk/2005/02/lefthanded.html

"In the past year, I have become increasingly aware of how common it is that parents, educators, and others are STILL forcing lefty children to be right-handed.
Having a backround in psychology, I have read thousands of journal articles on the subject of handedness. The consiquences of this form of child abuse and descrimination are severe to the child.
There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for this kind of child abuse. Many of these so-called reasons for forcing lefties to be right-handed could very easily be problem-solved with the smallest amount of thought. It is astounding that their aren't laws to protect left-handed children from whatever twisted and evil individual would afflict this torture on a child.
Much of what I have run across in the general public is that most people believe that this form of child abuse no longer occurs. This perspective is completely inaccurate and has severe consiquences to the victim.
I am working at a legislative level to ensure that those who feel they are God and can force a left-handed child to be right-handed will have the same consiquences as any other individual who decideds to torture a child for any other reason. If these individuals don't think that doing this to a left-handed child is harmful, than a 7-10 year stint in the federal or state pen should be no problem for them either."
(Bernadette)

"I'm left handed through genetics yet my parents and my school forced me to write right handed and they had 6 left handers in the class and they only had 4 sets of left handed scissors and they changed they persons who names were nearer the top of the register and the bottom and i'm the last on the register and i only found out a bout this a few weeks ago as my mum let it slip and now i'm writing left handed. And its still a bit messey but it's comming on faster than my right hand and now i am at secondrey school i can use both sets of scissors only prob is textiles they have only right handed scissors. i feel if someone if left handed they shouldn't change them as i had writing lessons for my right hand when i was 10." (Amy)


http://www.kenkifer.com/writing/lefthand.htm

http://www.io.com/~cortese/sinistrality/index.html

"Forcing a child to use their nondominant hand will result in surreptitious attempts to use the proper hand -- thus "rebellious." Punishing a child for behaving as they are meant to in using their left hand will also result in tears of frustration -- hence 'unstable.' Handwriting will be nearly illegible -- 'clumsy.' And after years of this frustration and persecution, a lefthander may turn away from school and learning altogether -- 'unintelligent.'"

http://www.twofrog.com/lawsuit.html (about Residential schools instead)

http://www.commonties.com/blog/2006/09/13/i-was-a-rebel/

"I heard this and I understand exactly how Mr. Kaufman felt, I was forced to be right handed when I was 5 years old. I am now 26 years old and I recently switched back to being left handed. There was alot of emotional stress and pain attached with it. I never understood why it was so “wrong” to be left handed. It caused me alot of pain through the years that I was forced to be right handed all the while thinking “Why am I not using my left?” I tried to switch back other times but felt it was wrong and feared negative repercussions. So I finally had it and I fought through the pain and the ingrained negative stigmas about left handedness. Though I have only been back at it for a week it feels so natural, I cried and cried because I felt so so happy, like everything fell into place and that I was me again. All these years it had made me miserable I am so glad that I finally listened to myself." (Mari Ongstad)

"I was a child of the ’50s whose teacher would slap my hand with a ruler if I put the pencil in my left hand. This was public school in Missouri 1st thru 3rd grade, this then carried to public schools in California from the middle of 3rd grade thru 5th grade. Teachers would point out how different I was to the class, I then would write at school with my right hand and at home with my left hand." (Debra Steele)

http://au.blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-B9Q00j47eqgDEQQk7vMR4QA-?cq=1&p=2406


http://www.rkwest.com/left-handed/?p=60


http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1675472006

"My father attended a school in London during the 1930s. He was naturally left handed so his left hand was tied behind his back and he was forced to write with his right hand. This was, apparently, common practise in those days." (Joanna)

http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/guest/hartmann_reinventing.htm

4 Comments:

Blogger Thri Keen said...

I'm quite certain there is a proper word for one who has been thusly trained, (against their nature,) to be right-handed, yet I can't seem to locate it. My father was "schooled" in this manner. Thankfully, I was allowed to write with my left, though I useright-handed scissors to this day, & I write with a Chinese brush in my right hand.

11:17 AM  
Blogger KateGladstone said...

Terms that have been used for such a person are "dextralized" (in Chris McManus's RIGHT HAND, LEFT HAND) and "submerged" (in Samuel Randolph's HIDDEN HANDEDNESS: one of the _very_ few books about this torture).

8:47 PM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

Here is what I know. I broke my left wrist showed up at school, could not print, my grade two teacher told me I was faking it and had always written with my right hand. I remember how hard I cried because my teacher did not believe I could not print my letters. All of the kids trusted what she said and thought I lied.

As a little kid I was devastated and actually thought maybe I was wrong. I really thought maybe I was wrong. As a consequence I practised writing with my right hand so that I could produce the same neat printing. In effect in the long run I almost fooled myself. But go figure I still deal cards with my left hand and can never find anything in my pockets because left and right have dominant moments... pick a pocket any pocket.

The one place I know that this underhanded game change... messed with my abilities is that I became numerically dyslexic... yes... everyone stop and think for a moment, what does dyslexic mean, it means backwards. Letters and numbers are out of sequence, often backwards. Is dyslexia related to ones dominant hand being altered.... is there any research on the specifics of this topic.... If there is, all of you awesome people in the know, point me in the right direction.

As a little kid I was devistated and actually thought maybe I was wrong. I really thought maybe I was wrong. As a consequence I practised writing with my right hand so that I could produce the same neat printing. In effect in the long run I almost fooled myself. But go figure I still deal cards with my left hand and can never find anything in my pockets because left and right have dominant moments... pick a pocket any pocket.

The one place I know that this underhanded game change... messed with my abilities is that I became numerically dyslexic... yes... everyone stop and think for a moment, what does dyslesic mean, it means backwards. Letters and numbers are out of sequence, often backwards. Is dyslexia related to ones dominant hand being altered.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Deemo3 said...

I love what you said in Lefty Child Abuse I was forced to be right handed as a child. Keep up the Great Work.

11:00 AM  

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