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www.corpun.com   :  Archive   :  2006   :  US Schools Jan 2006

-- THE ARCHIVE --


UNITED STATES
School CP - January 2006



Corpun file 17209

Knoxville Metro Pulse, Tennessee, 6 January 2006

Student Memories

The eulogies on the death of Robert Webb, founder of Knoxville's largest and most prestigious private school, mention that Webb School started in a church basement with four students. But who were those four students? They included Bill Sansom, CEO of H.T. Hackney Co. and a newly named member of the TVA board of directors; Hugh Faust II, a coal and timber heir who owns and operates hotels in Gatlinburg; Ed Hilliard and John Dean.

Webb's passing prompted many memories among the students whose lives were influenced by him. One recalls that male students getting demerits in the early days had their names posted on the bulletin board and they reported to Webb's office on Thursday afternoons. They got a "butt warming" from a half-inch thick "board of education," recalls one student. The student shared a list of those getting demerits and a paddling one week in 1960, to demonstrate that Webb enforced discipline regardless of the social register. It was a long list, but some of the names included future judges Bill Swann and David Creekmore, as well as John Dempster, Baxter Lee, Steve Koella, Roddy Rogers, Sandy Hensley and Cleve Tedford.

© 1991-2005 Metro Pulse LLC




Corpun file 17241

The Salisbury Post, North Carolina, 11 January 2006

Headmaster accused of assaulting child

By Kirsten Valle
Salisbury Post

Eugene Perry, headmaster
Eugene Perry is the headmaster at Rowan Academy. Photo by Joey Benton, Salisbury Post.

East Spencer police arrested Rowan Academy Charter School's headmaster Tuesday for assaulting one of his pupils.

Eugene C. Perry, 52, was charged with misdemeanor assault on a child under 12 after he struck a 7-year-old on the arms and shoulders Thursday, according to reports from the Rowan County Magistrate's Office.

The Post typically does not name victims of abuse.

The child's grandmother and guardian said the assault occurred when Perry took Rowan Academy's corporal punishment policy too far.

The child had been sent to the office and spanked Thursday for not paying attention in class.

His grandmother had given school officials permission to spank him with a paddle, but said Perry used his hands to spank the child Thursday.

Then he called the child's grandmother and put her grandson on the phone. She said she told the child to listen to his teacher and, after Perry told the child he was finished, hung up the phone.

The child told his grandmother later that Perry grabbed him around the neck, hit him on the arms and shoulders and sat on him in a metal chair to restrain him.

"This is a 7-year-old who weighs 41 pounds vs. a 45-year-old man who probably weighs 200 pounds," she said.

The woman said she noticed her grandson's bruises and called police Thursday night after he changed out of his school clothes and tie, which had been covering the bruises.

Police visited the family's home then and took photos, she said.

The woman said she took her grandson to the doctor Friday morning and gave police the doctor's note, as well.

According to magistrates' reports, East Spencer police Officer Jim Schmierer obtained a warrant for Perry's arrest Monday and served it Tuesday.

Schmierer said Tuesday that he could not release any information about the case yet, but also said he was not denying what the woman said.

The child's grandmother said Perry had paddled her grandson once before, but that that incident was carried out within reason.

"That's understandable," she said. "I gave them permission, but I didn't give them permission to assault my child."

Perry was released on a written promise to appear in court March 23.

He could not be reached for comment Tuesday; no one answered the phone at Rowan Academy and Perry's home number is unlisted.

© 2006, The Salisbury Post




Corpun file 17334

Groveton News, Groveton, Texas, 12 January 2006

Federal Court dismisses suit against Groveton ISD

press cuttingGROVETON -- Groveton ISD has received notice that the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has dismissed the lawsuit filed by Michael and Lynn Causby against the District, its current band director, Jeremy McKissick, and a former coach, Josh Finney.

The Causbys had filed their lawsuit against the district and the two teachers trying to hold them monetarily liable for damages arising out of the administration of corporal punishment to their child, a student at the district. The Causbys attacked the district's use of corporal punishment as to their child as well as a [sic] means of discipline in general.

The federal court, citing long established law, acknowledged that even if everything claimed by the Causbys were true, the paddling of recalcitrant children has long been an accepted method of promoting good behavior and instilling notions of responsibility and decorum into mischievous heads of schools children.

The district has recently experienced adverse media attention concerning its use of corporal punishment as a disciplinary alternative. According to Groveton ISD superintendent, Joe David Driskell, the Causbys' claims had, prior to their initiation of the lawsuit, been reviewed by school officials, Child Protective Services and a Trinity County Grand Jury, all of which failed to entertain the same. Driskell acknowledged that it was encouraging to know that the long held Groveton ISD board policy pertaining to the use of corporal punishment was still in line with state and federal law.




Corpun file 17240

Daytona Beach News-Journal, Florida, 13 January 2006

Teacher completes suspension in spanking incident

DAYTONA BEACH -- A Westside Elementary School teacher recently completed a 10-day suspension without pay for spanking a second-grader with a meter stick at the request of and with the permission of her mother.

The Volusia County School Board approved the suspension of Billy Miles on Dec. 6, but details weren't released at the time because Miles had yet to be served with papers detailing the professional misconduct charge against him.

Information on his case was released this week after Miles, a Volusia teacher for 26 years, was notified and a waiting period mandated by state law for public release of the information expired.

The incident that led to the suspension occurred Oct. 4 after another Westside teacher complained to Miles the second-grader had misbehaved repeatedly in her reading class.

Miles, the girl's mother told a school district investigator, is a family friend and "father figure" to the second-grader.

He arranged a conference between the mother and the girl's reading teacher. After that, the mother asked Miles to spank the girl for her and he did so in his classroom with the mother and reading teacher as witnesses.

Corporal punishment has been prohibited in Volusia schools since 1993.

Miles declined comment when reached by telephone on Wednesday.

© 2005 News-Journal Corporation.




Corpun file 17246

masthead

The Dallas Morning News, Texas, 16 January 2006

School policy to be without a paddle

Plano: Since corporal punishment isn't used, option likely to be cut

By Kim Breen
The Dallas Morning News

(extracts)

Plano educators haven't spanked or paddled their students for years, but the threat of corporal punishment remains in the policy handbook that goes home with students each year.

On Tuesday, district trustees will consider ditching the unused option and becoming the latest of several area districts to ban corporal punishment.

"We have not used corporal punishment in our district for many, many years," said Plano spokeswoman Nancy Long. "Since we weren't really doing it, the policy needed to be revised."

Several area districts have banned spanking and paddling in schools, most notably Dallas, which eliminated that option last year. Still, corporal punishment remains in district policies throughout the area, though several reported that in practice, it is not used.

"It's not an option on our campuses," said Shana Wortham, spokeswoman for Frisco schools, where corporal punishment has been removed from the district's code of conduct but is still allowed under district policy. "We'll be looking into taking it off the books completely."

In Grand Prairie, however, corporal punishment was used 565 times in 2003-04, said Superintendent David Barbosa.

"Personally, as superintendent ... I just don't support it," he said. "I just think there are so many other alternatives. We don't need to inflict physical [discipline] on our youngsters."

School trustees discussed ending the practice a few years ago but decided to keep it as an option for disciplining students, Dr. Barbosa said. He estimated that five schools at all grade levels in the district continue to paddle students but declined to name them.

The district had the highest number of reported corporal punishment instances locally in 2002, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights.

DeSoto, Duncanville, Garland, Irving, Lewisville, Mesquite and Wilmer-Hutchins also reported using corporal punishment that year. At least one of those districts, Mesquite, has since banned the practice.

[...]

Dallas school trustee Hollis Brashear supports corporal punishment as a way to maintain discipline in schools.

"We have a serious breakdown in discipline throughout this country," he said. He said many parents support corporal punishment, which has biblical ties – "He that spareth the rod, hateth his son," according to Proverbs.

Before corporal punishment was banned in Dallas schools, parents had to give permission for it to be used on their children. (Most schools let parents opt out of corporal punishment.)

Now the district has taken away a tool for discipline approved by parents, and he thinks students are suffering for it. Suspensions and alternative school placements are significantly up this year. Mr. Brashear said he cannot say for sure yet, but he suspects the reason could be the end of corporal punishment. Instead of a discipline problem being solved by a quick swat, he said, students are taken out of the classroom and lose instructional time.

[...]




Corpun file 17258

Daily Statesman, Dexter, Missouri, 18 January 2006

Bernie school board hears corporal punishment complaint

By Gary Exelby
Daily Statesman Editor

(extract)

What should school district's policy on corporal punishment be?

That question came up at Monday evening's meeting of the Bernie School Board, as raised by parent Shellie Ranberger. "For four years I have battled the corporal punishment policy," she told the board. "For four years I've been told, it's the board's policy.

"And since you've been faulted, that's why I'm here."

Ranberger, mother to a junior high student and three elementary students, said the problem she had with corporal punishment -- spanking-- was that in her view the punishment was administered for inappropriate infractions of school rules. "I don't think kids should be paddled for not turning in their homework," Ranberger said.

She noted that other districts gave students a zero grade, or detention, or both, for not turning in homework. "And some make them do the homework and give them a zero anyway," Ranberger said.

"Paddling is not the answer."

She also seemed to suggest the problem she had with spanking dealt with communications between her and the school. "If the teacher has a problem, she needs to give me a call," Ranberger said. "It's not any one teacher -- I'm not pointing a finger at anyone.

"But [the teachers] can't get to know those like [sic] I do."

The board heard Ranberger without comment, and took no action. "We will take it under advisement," board president Darell Crow said as Ranberger finished her presentation.

[...]

© Copyright 2006, Dexter Daily Statesman




Corpun file 17259

masthead

New York Post, 19 January 2006

Slap-happy 'Teach' Wins

By David Andreatta

An appellate court ruled yesterday that a would-be teacher who got the boot from upstate Le Moyne College for advocating corporal punishment in the classroom was unfairly expelled.

Scott McConnell said he planned to pick up where he left off a year ago by enrolling today at the Syracuse college.

"Justice has prevailed," he said. "I feel vindicated."

McConnell was booted last year after the graduate program's director said his personal beliefs that "corporal punishment has a place in the classroom" did not match the program's goals.

Copyright 2005 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.




Corpun file 17321

logo

wvec.com (WVEC-TV), Norfolk, Virginia, 24 January 2006

Police: Coach ordered corporal punishment of player

By 13News

A Virginia Beach high school coach was put on administrative leave with pay Monday following his arrest Friday on a charge of attempted simple assault and six charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

According to police, Coach William Brooks allegedly had several JV basketball team members administer corporal punishment to another player during school hours last week.

Police said the boy was playing on a team outside school and that led Coach Brooks to order the action.



blob RELATED VIDEO CLIP (1 minute 38 seconds) from local TV news (13WVEC-TV, Norfolk, VA, 24 Jan 2006), gives more detail. The school is Bayside High School. The boy's offense was to play for another basketball team, though this was not actually against the school's rules, according to the reporter. The student says 8 players each spanked him four times. He and one of his teammates speak about the punishment, and his mother is interviewed (incomplete).






Corpun file 17320

masthead

The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tennessee, 24 January 2006

Now it's up to parents to pull out the paddle

By Wendi C. Thomas

The verdict is in even though the trial has barely begun.

We're only one semester into Memphis City Schools Supt. Carol Johnson's Blue Ribbon initiative, which overhauled the district's discipline policy and outlawed the practice of corporal punishment.

The city school teachers I've queried about Blue Ribbon seem to have given up on the plan they complain replaced the feel of a paddle on a misbehaving behind with touchy-feely measures like behavior modification and peer mediation.

The students know they can't be paddled, teachers tell me, so they're more disrespectful than ever. The unruliest of kids curse at and even threaten to hit the teachers. What are you going to do? Beat me? students taunt.

No, the students won't be beaten, but the teachers say they're being flogged with the paperwork they have to fill out before students get what's coming to them, and even then, the student's punishment doesn't fit the crime.

It would be easy to compare the numbers from the first 80 days of the 2004-05 school year to the first 80 days of the 2005-06 school year and conclude that Blue Ribbon was a big mistake. Reports of weapons on campus are up 27 percent, gang-related activity up 9 percent, threats to school staff up 19 percent, battery against staff is up 46 percent systemwide, and 131 percent in middle schools (see the MCS report and Blue Ribbon discipline initiative incident figures).

But the problem isn't Blue Ribbon, it's the parents.

This is easy for me to say, because I don't have any children. But I do know what kept me in line -- my parents.

Those of us who are over 30, imagine this. Imagine that when you were back in high school, you punched or cursed at a teacher. Now, imagine your parents' reaction. Did you ever recover from your wounds?

Parents, you can mold a child's vocabulary so it doesn't include four-letter words. This works best when the parents refrain from cursing as well.

At the beginning of each school year, tell your child, preferably in front of his or her teacher, that teachers are to be obeyed. Misbehave at school, and you'll pay at home.

When the first discipline problem arises at school, go to the school and make your child apologize to the teacher and classmates.

If your child is sentenced to in-school suspension, go sit with your child there. Don't be afraid to embarrass your kids!

School administrators should not be the first line of discipline, even though it often seems that they are.

A student who would curse or hit a teacher has not been disciplined enough at home.

We should not expect them or any ribbon plans or any behavior management programs to get our kids in line.

Remember, spanking has not been outlawed. It's just been forbidden in city schools.

Parents still have a full range of disciplinary options, but they can no longer rely on school administrators to carry the most painful of them out.

Tie that Blue Ribbon around the parents' tree.

Copyright 2006, commercialappeal.com - Memphis, TN. All Rights Reserved.



blob Follow-up: 17 May 2007 - Wooddale Middle teacher criticizes MCS's Blue Ribbon Plan (with video clip)




Corpun file 17315

logo

myeyewitnessnews.com (WPTY-TV), Memphis, Tennessee, 27 January 2006

Paddling: How Hard is Too Hard?

On Friday, January 20, the football coach at Olive Branch Middle School paddled around 20 kids. Some parents say the coach hit way too hard because after a week, their kids still have bruises.

The corporal punishment rules for DeSoto County [in Mississippi, but a de facto suburb of Memphis - C.F.] Schools say that a certified teacher or administrator has to do the paddling while a second certified teacher or administrator stands as a witness. The student can get anywhere from one to three paddles on the buttocks depending on the bad behavior.

Based on these rules, the paddling was done by the book, but some parents are questions if there should be rules about how hard a student should be paddled.

The Martin family has always been pro-paddling. Sam Martin was paddled when he was a child, so that's why he told the school it was ok for them to paddle his son if he misbehaved.

Martin says, "If he acts up at school and he deserves a lick, then he deserves a lick."

While Martin still feels that way, he doesn't think that his 13-year-old son deserved the softball-sized bruise on the back of his leg which is still visible after a week. Several of the parents of other students who were paddled the same day say their children still have bruises as well, also on the backs of their legs.

The Martins say they went to the school with their concerns but were told simply that everything was done by the book.

"Can we say if you would bruise easier than I would bruise? We can't. That's an impossibility," says Riki Jackson of the DeSoto County Schools. "It's unfortunate, definitely, that he still has bruising, and we're sorry for that."

School officials say that corporal punishment is never handed out without another adult present. That adult is there to supervise and intervene if anything seems inappropriate. That makes the Martins wonder, though, if that witness was actually doing his job.

Martin says, "Just because it's a teacher, and it's corporal punishment does not make it right."

After this incident, the Martins put a note in their son's file to have him pulled off the corporal punishment list, but they say the worst part of this is that they've pulled their son out of the athletic study hall class where the paddling happened which makes him ineligible to play football at school.



blob RELATED VIDEO CLIP from local TV news (WPTY, 26 January 2006), in which the paddled boy shows faint bruise on thigh:



blob Follow-up: 6 February 2006 - Battle over Paddling Heats Up (with related video clip)


Corpun file 17272

The News Journal, Clovis, New Mexico, 27 January 2006

Paddling under review: School board to vote on corporal punishment

By Marlena Hartz
CNJ staff writer


CNJ illustration: Ryn Gargulinski

A policy that allows students to be paddled as a form of discipline is rooted firmly in the Clovis Municipal Schools. Only one of the school district’s five board members raised concerns Tuesday with the procedure during an annual policy review session.

"I have issues with corporal punishment," said school board member Lola Bryant.

She drilled school administrators on the policy that allows students to be swatted with a wooden paddle up to three times "for any one infraction or in any one day."
Fellow school board members listened to her objections with tight lips.

"I think our policy is good the way it is, in that the parents have ultimate authority in deciding whether their kids have corporal punishment used as a means of punishment," school board member Mark Lansford said after the review session.

The policy does place the power to veto corporal punishment with parents. But parental notification procedures vary from school to school.

Some parents must sign a form allowing corporal punishment to be used on their child in school. Some schools don't administer corporal punishment, so they do not send forms home. Others mention corporal punishment policies in handbooks and parents must notify school staff if they do not want their child punished physically.

Misti Kelley, mother to a 4-year-old James Bickley student, belongs in the "never-got-a-form" category. She is bothered by the prospect of any child, let alone her own, being physically punished at school.

"I think I would be suing the schools if they actually swatted one of my kids. There are other ways," Kelley said, "to punish children without hitting them."

Corporal punishment is not used frequently as a method of punishment, but it is used in more than one Clovis school, Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm said. While the majority of principals in the district shun the procedure, they decide if it is used, when it is used, and how parents are notified of the procedure, she said.

"Typically, corporal punishment is used after other things have been tried and didn't work," Seidenwurm said during the policy review session. "I can't think of a situation when a child would receive corporal punishment without the parent knowing."

Barry Elementary Principal Carrie Bunce chooses not to use corporal punishment.

"I don't believe it teaches students not to behave in a certain manner. We use moments of misbehavior as teaching opportunities," said Bunce, who frequently tells trouble-making students to write essays about their infractions.

Yet Bunce is not an advocate of banning corporal punishment altogether. "It should be left to the individual school," she said.

New Mexico is one of 13 states that permit corporal punishment, according to an anti-corporal punishment Web site.

The state, however, is somewhat distanced from the fray. Lawmakers decreed the definition of corporal punishment should be left to individual school districts, said Willie Brown, general counsel for the New Mexico Public Education Department.

The Clovis Municipal Schools policy does so quite well.

The paddle used must be "smoothly sanded." It must not contain holes or cracks. There should always be a witness to a paddling, but it should take place in a private place. Only principals, assistant principals, a teacher in charge in a building without a principal, or a professional staff with the given authority to do so can administer paddle swats. A child of any age is subject to a swat.

Despite such an intimate portrait of how to ethically administer corporal punishment, approval of corporal punishment is low among principals and parents, according to school administrators.

School board members could ban the age-old practice from Clovis schools, administrators said. But all signs suggest the practice will live on.

The school board policy in which corporal punishment is condoned is to be voted upon by board members at the Feb. 28 school board meeting, 5:30 p.m., 1009 Main Street.




Corpun file 17314

The Island Packet, Bluffton, South Carolina, 30 January 2006

Bring discipline back to schools

To The Packet:

What is happening at the local schools with so many threats should bring back some memories of old. Back in the old days, the teachers ruled, not the students or the parents. Bus drivers ruled, not the students or the parents. How many remember teachers carrying yard sticks? A quick whack and you were back in line. You didn't dare go home and tell your parents for fear of getting another whack from them because you were out of line.

Corporal punishment should be brought back. In fact, it is still used in one of our private schools. Thomas Heyward Academy has you sign a release that states your child, if they get out of line, may be paddled with an administrative witness present.

It has been a long time since I have seen a large group of children all being good at the same time, but they get it done over there. I am not saying children will not cut up, but there is a limit to what schools should take. We need to take action now and not bend to these special groups and their protest around the country.

Jim Barry
Hilton Head Island

Copyright © The Island Packet




Corpun file 17294

Daily Dunklin Democrat, Kennett, Missouri, 31 January 2006

Administration and school board change absences policy

By Deanna Coronado

According to the Kennett School District's administration and school board, frequent absences of students from their regular classroom learning experience disrupts the continuity of the instructional process.

Therefore, the school board recently approved proposed revisions to the policy relating to student absences and excuses, particularly directed at middle and high school students.

The board agreed that the benefit of regular classroom instruction is lost and cannot be entirely regained when a student is absent, even by extra after-school instruction.

The board said that, consequently, many students in these type of circumstances are able to achieve only mediocre success in their academic programs.

[...]

In terms of tardiness during first period class, the policy states that students are encouraged to be prompt to all classes which will provide them with the opportunity to take full advantage of the learning experience. Being on time also helps to prevent disruption to the continuity of the instructional process.

As in the absence policy, the responsibility is designated to the student.

If a student receives an unexcused tardy during a quarter it will result in assignment to the Alternative Education Program (AEP) for one hour. The second unexcused tardy each quarter will result in assignment to AEP for one day.

Each additional tardy per quarter up to and including the 10th unexcused tardy will result in corporal punishment or AEP assignment.

Each additional unexcused tardy during each quarter, beginning with the 11th, will result in out-of-school suspension which will take the student into the absence portion of the policy.

Tardiness during class periods other than first period include the following punishments, the third, fourth, or fifth tardy each quarter results in corporal punishment or assignment to AEP.

Each additional unexcused tardy up to and including the 10th will result in the administration of AEP assignment and anything following that will result in out-of-school suspension.

Unlike the absence policy, the tardy policy does include the terms "excused" and "unexcused" however, excused tardiness should be granted by staff members who have the authority to do so.

Lastly, the policy defines strict guidelines that state that automobile problems, getting up late, etc., are not valid reasons for being late to class and will not be tolerated or excused.

© Copyright 2006, Daily Dunklin Democrat

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