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www.corpun.com   :  Archive   :  2008   :  US Schools May 2008

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UNITED STATES

School CP - May 2008



Corpun file 20186

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myeyewitnessnews.com (ABC24/CW30 TV), Memphis, Tennessee, 7 May 2008

Mayor Herenton Wants Paddling Back in Schools

By Joyce Peterson

Memphis, TN - Corporal punishment hasn't been used in Memphis City Schools since 2004 when the school board, in a close vote, banned the controversial form of punishment.

But on Tuesday, May 6th, 2008, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton, a former superintendent of the school system, said spanking needs to return to city classrooms.

While presenting his plan to overhaul Memphis' education system, Mayor Herenton told the city council that he proposes reinstating the practice of paddling students in grades K through 8.

15 year-old Jabrina Boyd, an 8th grader at Lester School, remembers getting paddled by a teacher in the 4th grade. And she says she hated it.

"It made me mad," says Boyd.  "Man, I wanted to knock my teacher out. That was my reaction."

Boyd, who has a 5 month-old son, Cortez, who will one day be a city schools student, says she does not support Mayor Herenton's proposal to bring paddling back.

At district headquarters, the school board that voted out corporal punishment is gone, replaced by many new members.

Of those, only one, Kenneth Whalum, Jr., enthusiastically supports the Mayor's proposal.

"I think absolutely it's a necessity," says Commissioner Whalum.  "Listen to the parents, listen to everybody.  70-percent of parents, when we stopped, said don't stop paddling.  The Mayor's right about that."

Whalum's colleague, Commissioner Sharon Webb, says she's willing to debate the issue.

"I think it's something to think about," says Webb, "because maybe if we can control them better at an earlier age, it might help when they get to high school."

But other school board members aren't convinced.

"Corporal punishment belongs in the home with mom and dad," says Commissioner Jeff Warren. "Most districts in this country don't do this. And we had a behavioral problem before we stopped corporal punishment in the schools."

"Some of our children," says Commissioner Patrice Robinson, "are involved in gang activity. Somebody may hit them and they may bring a gun and hurt our employees. And that's something I'm afraid will happen."

Getting paddled certainly made Jabrina Boyd angry. Angry enough, she says, to hit back should an educator ever hit her or her little boy, Cortez.

"Because if they touch my son," she says, "I'm gonna touch them. That's it!"

Eyewitness News Everywhere spoke with a majority of the school board members about this topic. If a proposal to bring corporal punishment came up for a vote today, they say, it would not have the votes to pass.

The original school board vote was a 4 to 4 tie. Commissioner Patrice Robinson, who was board chairman at the time, cast the deciding vote.

2008 Newport Television LLC



blob RELATED VIDEO CLIP

TV news report (2 minutes 19 seconds) from WMC-TV Action News 5, Memphis (7 May 2008) includes a short extract from Mayor Herenton's remarks in favor of restoring CP. Parents and experts give opinions for and against.

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 EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window for private, non-profit, historical research and education purposes only. It must not be redistributed or republished in any commercial context.




Corpun file 20260

Canton Repository, Ohio, 29 May 2008

Bill to ban paddling in Ohio schools is hanging by a thin thread

By Paul E. Kostyu
Repository Columbus Bureau Chief

COLUMBUS: It's the end of the school year, but not the end of paddling in Ohio's public schools despite efforts to have corporal punishment banned.

Legislation banning the practice, House Bill 406, passed the House Education Committee this week 15-6, but its future is not secure in a shortened legislative year. The General Assembly is expected to adjourn tomorrow and not return until after the November election.

Three Stark County school districts Northwest Local, Canton City and Minerva Local are among 25 across the state who reported paddling students last year, according to the Department of Education.

Proponents of paddling say it's an effective method of discipline. Opponents contend it is archaic and has the potential for great harm.

According to the Columbus-based Center for Effective Discipline, 29 states and more than 100 counties have banned corporal punishment.

State Rep. Brian Williams, D-Akron, and Rep. Jon Peterson, R-Delaware, sponsored the legislation, but need to convince other lawmakers to back the bill. House Speaker Jon Husted, R-Kettering, has not taken a position on the house bill, according his spokesperson Karen Stivers.

The soonest anyone expects the full House to act on any legislation is November. Even if the measure passes the House, it faces hearings and a vote in the Senate, all before the end of the year. Should it not become law, it would die and the process would have to start over in 2009. The bill was introduced in December 2007.

"We need to change some hearts," Peterson said. "There's some hard work to do."

Peterson said he and Williams will have to identify opponents of the bill and work to present their case.

One of those not likely to change is mind is State Rep. Jeff Wagner, R-Sycamore. He voted against the bill in committee.

"Corporal punishment, used properly, is a valuable tool," he said.

Wagner said he opposes the bill because it mandates what school districts have to do.

"It takes away local control," he said. "We have to trust the decisions of the local (school) boards."

Wagner said the legislation would impact all of the state's more than 600 districts. He said it would prevent those districts who don't paddle now from changing policy in the future.

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