Passing of an Unsung American Hero in the Uphill Climb to Protect Children
Jordan Riak, a monumental advocate for children, age 81, passed away in early April 2016. He for over 40 years has battled to end the legal physical punishment of children in
schools , usually with paddles. He began Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education. He was so upset that children were being paddled at his child’s school decades ago that he grabbed the paddle that they had hung up in the principals office and took it away daring them to call authorities. He was instrumental in fighting for and drafting the law to end physical punishment in California Schools a couple of decades ago. He began an encyclopedic website projectnospank to present volumes of research, newspaper articles and educational clippings on the subject.
When I retired from a career of over 30 years as an administrator in one of the largest public child protection agencies in the US and as a child and family therapist I was
appalled by the lack of laws in the US protecting children from physical punishment and sent him some articles I had written. To my surprise he, who was interviewed and quoted
often, called me and spoke for about an hour on how I could help. He also put one of my articles on his website that was amongst the thousands he had accumulated and
documented. He wrote letters all over the nation as well to protect children from physical punishment.
He was an inspiration and role model who was a tireless, skilled, and fierce advocate for children.
Thank you to someone whose heroic actions for children are beyond words to describe.