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www.corpun.com : Archive : 2009 : US Schools May 2009

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UNITED STATES
School CP - May 2009



Corpun file 21359

North West Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach, 2 June 2009

Okaloosa schools ban corporal punishment

By Mona Moore

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Gov. Charlie Crist signed legislation last week that has Florida school districts following the lead of Okaloosa County.

The new law requires districts that still use corporal punishment to review the policy at a School Board meeting and take public testimony every three years.

Districts that do not meet the requirement would be banned from paddling students as a form of discipline.

Joe Skelly, a psychotherapist in Mary Esther, has fought against corporal punishment in local schools since 1993.

"(With Bill 1540), you can see the tide of public opinion turning because corporal punishment's ineffective," he said. "We honestly believe it to be child abuse. That's what the American Psychiatric Association calls it. Plus, at a time when we're cutting costs, the exposure of one lawsuit based on corporal punishment would be devastating."

The Okaloosa County School District will not be affected by the new bill. The School Board voted 4-1 last week to ban corporal punishment. The new policy, which took effect immediately, was not prompted by the pending legislation.

The disciplinary measure was on the decline long before last Wednesday's vote. Instances of corporal punishment dropped from 468 in 2000 to 194 in 2008. One-third of the county's schools had already prohibited paddling.

In the district's first week without paddling, Superintendent of Schools Alexis Tibbetts said she has noticed no impact.

"There are so many alternatives for discipline in schools," Tibbetts said. "There's many different ways of disciplining children. Corporal punishment certainly was a tool, but it was a mechanism or technique that wasn't absolutely necessary in view of the fact that we have a lot of different alternatives."

Skelly said he was ecstatic with the board's decision.

"It confirms that we live in a progressive area," he said. "And it confirms my faith in Alexis and the rest of the School Board."



Corpun file 21355

masthead

wjhg.com (WJBG-TV News Channel 7), Panama City, Florida, 3 June 2009

Bay County Schools Corporal Punishment

Corporal Punishment in School

Reporter: Josh Gauntt

It's a declining form of discipline in Florida's grade schools, corporal punishment.

The Okaloosa County school district voted last week to ban the punishment. Bay district schools still have a corporal punishment policy.

"The only time its used is when parents want it to be used instead of suspension or something like that," Bill Husfelt, Bay District Schools Superintendent said.

However, Husfelt says schools don't use it that much.

"There were less than thirty instances of students being paddled in Bay District schools last year. They were in the elementary level," Husfelt said.

Only a handful of Bay schools use corporal punishment. Some parents told us, it all depends on the behavior of the student.

Lewis Griffin, whose son is in the second grade, finds it unacceptable.

"I don't agree with it at all. I don't think it's conducive to learning. In fact, I think it would probably humiliate the child and probably make that child not even attend school," Griffin said.

Schools, like Surfside Middle, don't even use corporal punishment. School officials say simply because there are more effective ways of disciplining students.

"We use removal from the classroom setting. We use counseling. We use in-school suspension, morning detention," Sue Harrell, Surfside Middle School principal said.

As far as banning corporal punishment in Bay District schools?

"If there was a call for it. We haven't had somebody come in and say we're paddling too much or not paddling enough," Husfelt said. "I was paddled, as a junior high student years ago. I never did what I was accused of doing. Our society pretty much frowns on it."

Governor Charlie Crist signed legislation last week that requires school districts that still use corporal punishment to review the policy every three years at school board meetings with public testimony.

Districts that don't meet the requirement would be banned from paddling students.

Copyright © 2002-2008 - Gray Television Group, Inc.



blob RELATED VIDEO CLIP

Panama City News Channel 7 report, 3 June 2009 (2 mins 20 secs), of which the above is a text version. Interviews with Bay County superintendent and an anti-CP parent.


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 21356

The Marlin Democrat, 5 June 2009

Rosebud-Lott ISD welcomes new superintendent

By Curtis Chubb
Special Correspondent

(extracts)

The following is an introduction to Mr. Anthony D. Price - the new superintendent of the Rosebud-Lott Independent School District.

The introduction contains information from his biographical sketch and an interview conducted via e-mail.

Price summarizes his career by stating: "A results-oriented professional with 18 years experience in the field of education (eight in the classroom and 10 in administration) coupled with nine years of experience in a corporate management/supervision environment. Major strengths are in the areas of leadership, leadership instruction, curriculum development, discipline, organization, planning, coordination and the ability to communicate and motivate both students and adults."

Although his formal education began with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Engineering Technology awarded by DeVry Institute of Technology (1984), he transitioned to the educational field in 1990 when he began teaching mathematics in Fort Worth ISD.

In 1999, he moved to Arlington ISD as an Assistant Principal. His first Principal position was with Everman ISD (in Fort Worth) where he served from 2004 to 2008. In 2009, he started work at Tarrant County College District in Fort Worth, where he served as a program director and academic advisor.

[...]

Price also emphasizes "student discipline" in his biographical sketch. In fact, his reinstatement of corporal punishment when principal of an Everman ISD middle school received national exposure in a Sept. 30, 2006, article published in The New York Times.

When asked by the News about his opinion about the RLISD corporal punishment policies, Price answered: "I do believe that RLISD has a corporal punishment policy that is student centered and intended to increase classroom performance and decrease classroom disruption."

[...]

Copyright © 2009 The Marlin Democrat. All rights reserved.




Corpun file 21351

logo

wafb.com (WAFB-TV), Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 5 June 2009

Legislator pushes school paddling ban

By Robb Hays


Rep. Barbara Norton

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Louisiana state legislator wants to see paddling and other forms of corporal punishment banned in public schools across the state.

House Bill 571, by Representative Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport, calls for the practice of corporal punishment to become illegal beginning next school year.

Norton says the state has no tracking system in place to see which students are being paddled and how often. She says there is no way to know whether students are being paddled from one year to the next.

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"If the state would introduce a tracking system, they would know it's not working," Norton said.

Norton maintains that if corporal punishment was working, the same children would not be getting paddled again and again - something she maintains is taking place.

"The school system was built on educating children, not raising them," Norton said. "If you do what you're supposed to do at home, we wouldn't have to be raising them in schools."

Norton's legislation is scheduled to be brought up for debate at noon on Tuesday June 9th before the House Committee on Education. Norton is planning to hold a rally in favor of her bill on the capitol steps at 11am that morning.

© 2009 WAFB. All rights reserved.



blob RELATED VIDEO CLIP

News report by KATC3, Acadiana, Louisiana, 8 June 2009 (2 mins 20 secs), ahead of the introduction of Bill 571 in the House Committee. Interview with a school superintendent in a district where CP is used, but only where parents wish it; and with a parent, who supports this policy.


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 21383

The Advocate, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 17 June 2009

School corporal punishment ban blocked

By Will Sentell
Advocate Capitol News Bureau

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A bill that would ban corporal punishment in public schools was rejected Tuesday by the House Education Committee.

The vote was six in favor and eight opposed, which all but kills the measure for the session.

Current state law allows local school districts to set up on their own policies on corporal punishment, which generally refers to paddling.

State officials said 56 school districts allow corporal punishment. Among the 14 that do not is the East Baton Rouge Parish school district.

Opponents of the bill said classroom discipline is the top problem in public schools.

"Now is not the time to take school authority away," said Roy McCoy, principal at Beekman Junior High School near Bastrop.

State Rep. Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport and sponsor of the bill, said the policy is being abused nationwide and needs to be stopped.

"I would never allow my children to be paddled because I think it is not the responsibility of the schools to raise the child," Norton told the committee.

"What we want to do is protect our children," she added.

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education backed Norton measure, which is House Bill 571. Gov. Bobby Jindal's office opposed it.

Patrick Dobard, deputy director of government affairs for the state Department of Education, said studies show a correlation between states where school paddling is common and high incarceration rates, children in poverty and unwed mothers.

Dobard said state officials do not know how the policy is implemented in individual school districts.

State Rep. Clif Richardson, R-Central and a member of the committee, said lots of teachers favor corporal punishment. Richardson also disputed Norton&' comment that there are widespread abuses of the policy.

McCoy told the committee classroom discipline has been an increasing problem in the past 20 years.

Paddling is no panacea, he said.

"But it does provide a viable alternative to suspension," McCoy added.

Backers of the bill said corporal punishment is banned in 29 states.

Voting Yes on HB571 (6): Reps. James Armes, D-Leesville; Herbert Dixon, D-Alexandria; John Bel Edwards, D-Amite; Rickey Hardy, D-Lafayette; Pat Smith, D-Baton Rouge; and Major Thibaut, D-New Roads.

Voting No on the bill (8): Reps. Thomas Carmody Jr., R-Shreveport; Steve Carter, B-Baton Rouge; Billy Chandler, D-Dry Prong; Bubba Chaney, D-Rayville; Hollis Downs, R-Ruston; Frank Hoffman, R-West Monroe; Clif Richardson, R-Central; and Harold Ritchie, D-Bogalusa.

Copyright © 1992-2008, 2theadvocate.com, WBRZ, Louisiana Broadcasting LLC and The Advocate, Capital City Press LLC, All Rights Reserved.



blob RELATED VIDEO CLIP

News segment from WBRZ News 2, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 16 June 2009 (1 min 50 secs) reporting on the defeat of Bill 571. Includes testimony by a school principal who successfully argues for the retention of corporal punishment, which, he says, is not a universal panacea but does help keep students in class if used instead of suspension. He has a straightforward response to the point made by the bill's supporters that CP can be abused: if school staff do not follow the rules laid down, fire them.


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 21429

The News & Record, Greensboro, North Carolina, 24 June 2009

N.C. Senate dumps warning parents of school spanking

By The Associated Press

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RALEIGH (AP) -- The North Carolina Senate has rejected a bill that would require school administrators to tell parents their child could be paddled at school and allow adults to opt out of corporal punishment.

The Senate voted 25-21 on Wednesday against the bill that would have offered parents in the 55 school districts that use corporal punishment a choice whether to allow their child to be spanked.

There are 115 school districts in North Carolina.

Opponents like Democratic Sen. Doug Berger of Franklin County said the measure would effectively block corporal punishment statewide. Berger said no teacher would spank one child for an offense knowing another child could not be paddled for the same offense.

Others argued that school districts should develop their own policies.

Copyright 2009 News & Record and Landmark Media Enterprises, LLC




Corpun file 21431

Florence Times-Daily, Alabama, 24 June 2009

Corporal punishment policy stays, for now

By Lisa Singleton-Rickman
Staff writer

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The Florence School school system will operate under its current policy of allowing corporal punishment when classes begin in August, at least until the district's policy review committee has time to readdress the issue.

School board members anticipated voting on the issue at Tuesday evening's public meeting. The recommendation from Superintendent Kendy Behrends, however, to go from district-wide corporal punishment to kindergarten through fourth grade only, died for lack of a second.

The change of events occurred after board member Jim Fisher, who staunchly opposes corporal punishment at any level, suggested the issue be tabled.

Regardless, the change in policy won't be happening in the foreseeable future.

Fisher told the TimesDaily on Monday that he viewed the recommended change in policy as a compromise. But after further thought, he said, "it simply seemed to reflect what the system was already doing."

Administrators in the middle school and high school rarely or never use corporal punishment as discipline.

Fisher said the delay would not only allow the review committee time to reconsider the policy, but would also allow board members more time to review the latest research on the effectiveness of corporal punishment.

Fisher initiated the policy change when he asked for a review earlier this year. He said from all the literature he has read on the subject, corporal punishment does not change a child's behavior for the long term.

"My hope is to change more hearts and minds on this subject, and those teachers and administrators in the district who still hang on to the idea that it works, would simply consider the research," he said. "I understand that it's ingrained in some people, but I've been pleased that for the most part people have been willing to listen to the other side of this."

Other board members didn't share comments on the issue with the exception of Tom Wissert who said he would take this time to look into the issue further.

Behrends said for now the policy will remain the same and that the committee will reconvene during the school year to "further study the pros and cons of corporal punishment."

Alabama is one of 21 states - mostly in the South - where corporal punishment is legal. Only Mobile County has banned the practice.

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