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wsoctv.com (WSOC-TV), Charlotte, North Carolina, 4 October 2011
Parents sign letter banning corporal punishment in Burke Co. schools
BURKE COUNTY, N.C. -- Parents in Burke County can now keep their schools from paddling children when they get in trouble.
During the last week, every parent in Burke County received a letter. By signing and returning it, their child is exempt from corporal punishment.
It was a difficult decision for Angela Parker, who has three children and struggled with the letter.
"I'm sort of in between. I think the kids will know they'll get by with a lot more knowing they're not going to have any punishment other than being suspended," Parker said.
George Gibson doesn't want anyone touching his three grandchildren at Hildebran Elementary. "I'd be upset, yes. To the extent it would be pretty severe probably," he said.
In North Carolina, 88 of the 115 school districts no longer use the practice.
In Burke, the interim superintendent, Larry Putnam, sent out a letter allowing parents to opt out because the general assembly required it. But Channel 9 learned on Tuesday they haven't done it there for two years.
"Under are previous superintendent, his directive was not to paddle children, and as the interim superintendent, I don't want to make any changes," the letter states.
That means the decision has already been made for parents in the district even if the county hasn't changed its policy.
"The letter clearly states that they aren't even for it. It says that it sends out a negative statement to the child," said mother Amber Grayson.
Burke isn't alone. Of the 27 districts that allow corporal punishment, roughly half have not used the practice in recent years.
Copyright 2011 by WSOCTV.com. All rights reserved.
RELATED VIDEO CLIP
Two-minute news segment from TV station WSOC Charlotte (4 Oct 2011) of which the above report is a more or less verbatim text record. Interviews with Burke County parents and superintendent.
HERE IS THE CLIP:
IMPORTANT: Copyright in this video material rests with the original copyright holders. This brief excerpt is reproduced under the "fair use" doctrine for private, non-profit, historical research and education purposes only. It must not be redistributed or republished in any commercial context.
The Daily News, Jacksonville, North Carolina, 5 October 2011
Corporal punishment policy could be reviewed
By Suzanne Ulbrich
Onslow County Schools is one of few districts in the state that still allows corporal punishment. However, school officials are considering its review after a new legislation passed the N.C. General Assembly.
There has been a steady decline in its usage in school districts throughout the state, according to a release by Action for Children North Carolina. The decline is attributed to new legislation passed during the 2011 session of the N.C. General Assembly, which became effective at the beginning of the 2011-12 school year. That legislation requires school districts that allow corporal punishment to send out a form to all parents at the beginning of the school year allowing them to opt their children out of the punishment.
Carteret and Jones county school districts do not allow the practice. Onslow and Duplin County Schools are among the 21 districts listed as still allowing corporal punishment, according to the report.
However, the Duplin County School Board voted Sept. 20 to ban corporal punishment in all Duplin County Schools, said Dawn Craft, the spokeswoman for the district.
"No school plan for managing student behavior may authorize the use of corporal punishment," she said. "The Duplin County Board of Education prohibits corporal punishment believing that other consequences are more appropriate and effective for teaching self control."
School Board Chairwoman Pam Thomas said information about the new legislation in The Daily News made her think about the issue. She said she is considering putting it on the agenda at a school board workshop this month.
"I am surprised to find out it has been used," she said. "It has not been a concern for us because it has not been abused ... and we have had no complaints from parents. But we probably need to look at that policy."
Corporal punishment is one of the last disciplinary measures considered by Onslow County School principals, said Assistant Superintendent Barry Collins, the spokesman for Onslow County Schools.
"Onslow County Schools' stand on corporal punishment is it is a tool in the toolbox on discipline measures, but it is never the first tool used ...That is the way it has been presented to principals," he said.
Administrative Assistant to the Office of the Superintendent Jodie Ramsey said the last reported incident of corporal punishment administered in an Onslow County School was in March 2010, and it came at the request of the student's parents. Prior to that, corporal punishment was administered twice in February 2008, again at the parent's request, she said. Ramsey declined to reveal which schools administered the discipline.
The school district has sent opt-out notices to parents, Collins said. Each school keeps the notices, and the school district does not compile the number of parents who opt-out.
Onslow County School Board member Richard L. Ray noted that he comes from a time when it was acceptable and often used.
"I'm not against it," he said. "I just think there are enough safeguards in place to make sure nothing untoward will happen. We have enough guidelines in place and we are cognizant of the fact that nothing should happen that is out of line."
School Board member Brock Ridge thinks there are other ways to discipline students.
"I thought we had given that up, really," he said. "I would not be in favor of it personally, even though when we first started we did use corporal punishment, but that was a different day and a different time ... If it is being done then we need to revisit it."
As a parent with three children in the Onslow County School District, Renae Pate, of Richlands, said she would like to see corporal punishment banned in the district.
"I feel like I should be the one to discipline my kids, not the schools," she said.
Kasi Flores, who lives in the Summersill area, and has two children agreed.
"I don't think it should be a school's decision whether to do that or not. It should be a parent's decision," she said.
New requirements passed in 2009-10 require school districts to submit detailed data to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction on the incidences of corporal punishment. DPI will release the data as part of its 2010-11 Consolidated Data Report in February.
© Copyright 2010 Freedom Communications. All Rights Reserved.
The Clay County Progress, Hayesville, North Carolina, 6 October 2011
Board of education votes to ban corporal punishment
The Clay County Board of Education met Monday evening and
voted to ban corporal punishment in county schools. This action
came about as the result of a new state law requiring schools to
allow parents to opt out of corporal punishment for their
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