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The Herald, Augusta, Georgia, 16 October 1979
Spanking Termed A Little Mistake
The spanking of a seventh grade male student by a teacher at Windsor Spring Elementary School without parental consent was "a little mistake," school superintendent William G. Oellerich said Monday, and the teacher will probably receive a written reprimand.
The incident was investigated Monday by associate superintendent Robert Dixon who said the teacher and another witnessing teacher misread the form which allows or denies in-school discipline. Both teachers, he said, read the form as an approval for the two-lick spanking administered because the student failed to keep his book open to the correct page with the rest of the class.
The classroom teacher was a beginning teacher, but the homeroom teacher who witnessed the two-lick spanking was a seasoned educator, Oellerich said. Because of efforts to cut down on paperwork, permission or denial for corporal punishment is included on a comprehensive registration form, he said.
The form includes an affirmative box and a negative box which is checked by the parent, he said. Directly above the question on corporal punishment is another question asking whether or not the student attended a Georgia school during the previous year. When both teachers looked at the card they mistook the check in the affirmative box pertaining to the above question as applying to the corporal punishment question, Oellerich explained.
"The thing that bothers me is we have two teachers, college graduates, who misread a card," Nunnery [?] said. "One I could understand, but two is a little hard to believe."
Although Oellerich said the case was not closed, the teacher will most likely receive a written reprimand from the principal and cautioned to be more careful.
Because the discipline form was misread, Dixon said, it will probably be redesigned to more prominently display the block parents must check to give consent for discipline.
The redesign, however, will not occur until next spring when the board orders new forms for the 1980 school term, he added.
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