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Corpun file 25518 at www.corpun.com
Jacksonville Daily News, North Carolina, 5 August 2014
School board cuts corporal punishment rule
By Michael Todd
A brief, unanimous vote vacated the legal discipline of spanking in Onslow County schools Tuesday night.
"We feel there are more appropriate measures of discipline and if a parent is the one who insists on that then they need to be the one to administer that -- not us," said Onslow County Board of Education Chairwoman Pam Thomas after the meeting at Blue Creek Elementary School. "In the past when we've used it, it's been at the request of a parent so we feel like that is an archaic, outdated method of discipline."
At the meeting, the board vacated the policy and changed its reference in the School Plan for Management Behavior. Both decisions were unanimous.
Pastor Neil Vanderbush, who led the meeting's invocation, addressed the board during public comments and said he supports corporal punishment.
"It's to retain it as a right as a parent to have that right as a parent. My child might respond very well to that type of discipline," Vanderbush said after the meeting. "Actually, it helps my children maintain that respect level with the administration. We've been in different school districts where it wasn't there and we've been in districts where it was and we've seen higher levels of accountability and a respect for authority where it was in place."
He has three children.
Before attending the meeting, he asked his 15, 12 and 11 year olds about spanking as discipline.
"My son, he said it's a great thing. 'When you sent me to that school that didn't have it, the students had no respect for teachers or the principal. When you sent me back to a school that had it, I immediately saw the change,'" Vanderbush said.
His family moved within Arkansas before heading to North Carolina, he said.
"I was hoping to see this retention, but it's OK," Vanderbush added about the decision by the Onslow County leaders. "I hear from a lot of parents. They just worry about the erosion of their parental rights in education."
Thomas said new methods of discipline are constructive and effective.
"Time out. Contracts. Signing contracts about behavior. They will sign a statement: 'This is what I will adhere to,'" Thomas said. "In the early grades, they do green cards, yellow cards, red cards. It gets their attention -- and they know what they mean.
"We want positive reinforcement and I think that corporal punishment is negative," Thomas said. "It was positive if my mother used it though, but she didn't use it often."
Corporal punishment is legal in North Carolina but rarely was used in the district -- which was one of six in the state that use corporal punishment, according to recent Daily News reports. There was one instance at Onslow County schools during the 2012-13 school year and four in 2011-12. In 2012-13, Robeson County led the state with 141 cases of corporal punishment.
"I believe it to be a safe and effective means of discipline for ... parents to choose for their children and for administration to be able to carry (that) out," Vanderbush told the board. "I speak out on this mainly for parental choice."
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Corpun file 25553 at www.corpun.com
The Log Cabin Democrat, Conway, Arkansas, 11 August 2014
Ground rules addressed at Vilonia's junior/senior orientation
By Linda Hicks
At a Vilonia High School orientation meeting held Thursday, principal Andy Ashley told students, "you've got to come to school until you are 18. Welcome seniors, we've got you for one more year. Juniors, we've got you for two. Let's make it as painless as possible."
The first issue addressed was residency. "If there is a question that you live in the Vilonia School District, come see me," Ashley said.
Ashley and assistant principal Ronnie Simmons spent about an hour going through the 2014-15 student handbook, one stipulation at a time.
Simmons said he deals with most of the disciplinary issues in the school and "we will discipline you to make sure you behave the way you need to behave. We aren't going to tolerate bad behavior."
The school's behavior policy includes students at school and on school buses. It was also said that corporal punishment is allowed when necessary.
On the subject of prohibitive [sic] conduct, Simmons encouraged the students and parents to read the student handbooks and avoid being caught "off guard."
The prohibitive conduct policy, he said, is spelled out and includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Disrespect for school employees; disruptive behavior that interferes with orderly school operations; willfully and intentionally assaulting or threatening to assault or physically abusing any student or school employee; possession of a weapon that can capable of causing bodily harm; possession of tobacco in any form on any property owned or leased by any public school including E-cigarettes; damaging, destroying or stealing public property; possession of any paging device, beeper, or similar electronic communication devices, cameras, MP3 players, iPods, and other portable music devices on the school campus during normal school hours unless specifically exempted by the administration; possession, selling, distributing or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, unauthorized inhalants or sharing of prescription drugs or over the counter drugs; cheating, copying or claiming another person's work; gambling; inappropriate dress; use of vulgar, profane or obscene language or gestures; truancy; excessive tardiness; behavior designed to taunt, degrade or ridicule another person based on race; possess, view or distribute or electronically transmit sexually explicit or vulgar images; hazing or aiding in the hazing of a student; gang related activity or secret organizations; sexual harassment or bullying.
The tobacco policy also covers visitors. If they are found using tobacco products, either during school days or at functions, they will be told of the policy and asked to cease. Visitors who refuse will be asked to leave the campus. Also, the handbook spells out the punishment for failing to comply with each policy.
Other things mentioned regarding conduct includes: hand-held pointers are not permitted on school campuses. Vehicles parked on school property are subject to search. Facial jewelry piercing will not be permitted including clear retainers. No unnatural hair coloring or extreme hair styles. Shoes must be worn at all times. No house shoes or pajamas. Sunglasses are not allowed in the building. And, there's a clause that says due to fads, other items may be listed as being prohibitive [sic] from wearing.
Simmons said, "we aren't going to fight with you over some new fad. If we say you can't wear it, you just aren't going to wear it."
According to the school officials, the only visitors allowed on campus will be parents or guardians. The school officials said parents are allowed to visit with their children at any time, but they must check in at the office. They told the parents if they were so inclined to attend classes with them, "we will set you up a chair in the classroom."
Parents can bring their children food but not supply food for any other student. The speed limit on the campuses is not to exceed 5 miles per hour. Ashley said he doesn't see many students breaking the speed limit, but he does see some parents doing it and on their cell phones. Both activities, he said, are against the law.
There was a buzz in the audience when Ashley announced there would be a minor change in scheduling. You will get out a minute earlier this year, he said, and the first period of class will be a few minutes longer than in past years.
For those who choose to abide by the rules, the educators said, it will be a good school year.
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