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The Daily Gazette, Schenectady, NY, 9 July 2009
Paddling an option for some
By Michael Goot
It seemed like the days of using a paddle to spank children in
school were over.
Copyright (c) 2009 The Daily Gazette Co. All Rights Reserved.
The Grove Sun Daily, Oklahoma, 15 July 2009
Grove School Board bans corporal punishment
By Kirsten Mustain
Amid objections from several parents and teachers present, the Grove Board of Education voted three to one, with one member absent, to delete the option of corporal punishment from student discipline policies at a regular meeting Tuesday night.
The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio, 15 July 2009
Items buried in the budget affect Pledge of Allegiance, angled parking, corporal punishment
By Reginald Fields
COLUMBUS -- The state budget is a jumble of big numbers with huge implications.
Look deep enough in the 3,500-page budget bill and you will also find a hodge-podge of items that don't seem to have an obvious connection to the state's bottom line: things that involve studying fish, smoking in prisons and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Slipping these items into the all-important budget bill puts them on a fast track, avoiding the sometimes slow and contentious Statehouse law-making process.
As Gov. Ted Strickland readies his pen to strike out a few items before signing off on the rest of the $51 billion, two-year budget, he will find a few of those well-meaning but seemingly out-of-place issues awaiting his review.
Corporal punishment: Paddling and other forms of corporal punishment in public schools is out. This was a Strickland idea that survived largely unscathed through the budget process.
At least 29 other states already ban corporal punishment in schools but similar bills in recent years in Ohio have died in legislative committee rooms.
The truth is, most Ohio schools no longer use paddling to control students, but a few still do -- at least until the governor swats the punishment away by signing the budget bill.
The Blade, Toledo, Ohio, 23 July 2009
Putting away the paddle
TUCKED into the biennial budget bill signed recently by Gov. Ted Strickland was a provision that brought Ohio out of the Middle Ages and into the 21st century in regard to the types of punishment public schools, including charters, may inflict on students.
Banned in the law are paddling and all other forms of corporal punishment, vestiges of a time when the prevailing philosophy was "spare the rod and spoil the child."
The new law, proposed by Governor Strickland, does not ban -- nor should it -- the ability of educators and other school employees to use reasonable force and restraint under certain circumstances, such as self defense. Nor does the ban impinge on the parental right to use a swat on the backside to discipline a misbehaving child.
The ban is limited to public schools, although we hope that private and religious schools are paying attention to the growing body of research showing that corporal punishment in schools is not only inappropriate but also less effective than other, nonviolent forms of behavioral modification.
For centuries, physical punishment was seen as an essential educational tool. Students and apprentices were regularly beaten for even minor infractions. But while educational theorists gradually began to question and then oppose that approach more than a century ago, old habits died hard.
As recently as 25 years ago, Ohio law actually prevented schools from banning corporal punishment. Mercifully, that was changed in 1985, when the General Assembly passed a bill allowing local school boards to say no to hitting children. Since 1993, schools wishing to use physical punishment have had to follow stringent procedures and parents have had the option of saying "not my child."
As a result, while about 68,000 Ohio schoolchildren were paddled in 1984, some multiple times, a survey by the Center for Effective Discipline found that in 2008 only six school districts were still using corporal punishment, hitting 110 students a total of 131 times.
Ohio becoming the 30th state to ban paddling is no surprise. What is surprising is that 20 states, including Indiana, either allow or have taken no legislative stance on the educational use of hitting children.
It is long time past the paddle was expelled from every school, everywhere.
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