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localmemphis.com (WATN-TV), Memphis, Tennessee, 13 March 2014
Arlington School Board Approves Corporal Punishment
By Rudy Williams
ARLINGTON, TN (localmemphis.com) --The newly formed Arlington School Board approved corporal punishment Thursday evening. It's the same issue Shelby County School board members faced last year when they dismantled their corporal punishment policy.
Since last year, no student could be paddled in Shelby County. That changed with Thursday night's vote of the new Arlington School Board
Board member Kay Williams is a former educator who knows a thing or two about keeping order in the classroom. That plus listening to parents and teachers informed her vote in favor of corporal punishment.
"It's a tool, one tool that can be used in the classroom. Teachers are under heavy accountability now,"said Williams
Not all her colleagues were convinced.
"I do not believe that anybody should be allowed to lay a wooden or fiberglass paddle or whatever it be on the posterior of my child," said board member, Danny Young. "I do agree with punishment, by all means, but corporal punishment should be done at home."
The policy passed by a 3 to 2 vote leaving the ultimate decision to the four school principals. Parents can write a letter opting out of paddling. But, supporting board members say it is only a last resort requiring a witness be present should corporal punishment be employed.
"They feel confident in the policy," said Board Chair, Dale Viox of the three board members with education backgrounds.
"It's the same as the old SCS policy and they feel they can safely administer it."
Superintendent Tammy Mason is on record not supporting corporal punishment, but she says it's now the rule for her to enforce
Copyright 2014 localmemphis.com Nexstar Broadcasting, All rights reserved.
RELATED VIDEO CLIP
Two-minute news segment from Memphis TV station WATN (13 March 2014) of which the above report is a highly abbreviated version. There are comments from several members of the school board of Arlington, a newly created school district.
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.
Corpun file 25224 at www.corpun.com
Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach, 16 March 2014
Santa Rosa schools to eliminate corporal punishment
By Tom McLaughlin
School officials in Santa Rosa County will end a generations-old practice next year when corporal punishment is officially abolished as a form of discipline.
Paddling was suspended at the beginning of this calendar year, effectively eliminating its use until more formal steps to do away with it can be taken, Santa Rosa County Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick said.
James McNulty, founder of Floridians Against Corporal Punishment in Public Schools, claimed credit for the district's decision, but Wyrosdick said liability issues played a more significant role than activists' pressure.
"I can no longer protect my employees. Even if they're following protocol and involving the parents," Wyrosdick said. "Without a doubt that's the biggest reason."
He said the school district has been deliberating its corporal punishment policies for two years and weighed McNulty's concerns.
The state Department of Children and Families has been called to the school district four times in recent years after a child had been physically disciplined, Wyrosdick said.
On at least one occasions, he said, DCF showed up after the parent specifically had asked for the punishment and was present to see the paddling.
"Our employees are awesome individuals who work so hard. They don't deserve to be treated like that," Wyrosdick said.
He said he will present the recommended code of conduct for the 2014-15 school year to the School Board in June minus policies for corporal punishment.
McNulty called Santa Rosa County's decision a "small victory," and said he will now turn his group's attention to Walton County, one of 20 school districts in Florida with corporal punishment still on its books.
He said he continues to be frustrated by state lawmakers' universal refusal to take his cause to the Legislature, but has gotten behind an existing federal bill to eliminate a practice he refers to as "beating with a board."
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