Corpun file 22988 at www.corpun.com
khou.com (KHOU-TV), Houston, Texas, 1 February 2011
Mom of North Forest ISD student: Assistant principal took paddling too far
By Leigh Frillici
HOUSTON -- When 11-year-old Keyone Lockett came home from school on Friday, he had trouble sitting down. The fifth-grader at Hilliard Elementary said he was paddled by his assistant principal six times.
"The first one I had, he said, I had moved a little and he said that was extra," said Lockett. "I had moved three times and I got three extra. Then on my last one, he had popped me, and he said it wasn't hard enough, so he popped me again."
Lockett said it all began when a teacher brought him and a classmate down the assistant principal's office after a disturbance during a test.
"The other boy, in the back of my seat, he was messing with me," said Lockett.
Lockett said the paddling left its mark in more than one way.
"I couldn't sit down the whole weekend, I had nightmares and stuff," he said.
His mother took him to the emergency room to have doctors look at the dark purple bruise that covered his backside. She was told to keep Lockett out of school for a few days and give him Motrin.
Lockett has ADHD, and his mom admits sometimes acts up.
"He's got pops before, but it never went to that extent," said Lakishia Smith, Lockett's mother.
In Texas, it's up to each district to decide whether or not it will allow corporal punishment.
North Forest ISD's school discipline policy allows it, stating:
"Corporal punishment may be used as a discipline management technique in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. Corporal punishment shall be limited to spanking or paddling the student and shall be administered only in accordance with the following guidelines:
1. The student shall be told the reason corporal punishment is being administered.
2. Corporal punishment shall be administered only by the principal or designee.
3. The instrument to be used in administering corporal punishment shall be approved by the principal.
4. Corporal punishment shall be administered in the presence of one other District professional employee and in a designated place out of view of other students."
The policy also states that each parent has to give permission as to whether their child can be paddled or not. Smith gave her approval, but now she regrets it.
"When I saw the bruise, I said that is too much," said Smith. She said the guidelines were violated, because there was not another employee in the room when her son was paddled. She has asked North Forest ISD police to look into the situation. And, she said while the assistant principal has apologized, it's not enough.
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the school district said that while allowed, corporal punishment is to be used only as a disciplinary tool of last resort.
"When administered, corporal punishment is enacted to discourage misconduct. However, it is not administered casually, taken lightly, or designed or administered to cause intentional injury to a student.
A recent incident involving the administration of corporal punishment to a student at one of the district's campuses has been reported. This reported incident is both unfortunate and unintentional," the statement read.
The district also noted that, as required by the corporal punishment policy, they had parental consent from Smith on file. They said the incident is being reviewed by district officials, who will determine if any further action is required.
"He doesn't need to be in the school, if [the assistant principal is] doing that to the kids," said Smith.
Smith isn't waiting to see if the educator involved is disciplined. She said what happened to her son is enough. She's transferring Lockett to another school by the end of the week, and she won't be signing any agreement to have her son paddled again.
© 2009-2011 KHOU-TV, Inc., a subsidiary of Belo Corp. All Rights Reserved.
Corpun file 23062 at www.corpun.com
Greensboro News & Record, North Carolina, 8 February 2011
Corporal punishment ban approved in Rockingham County
By J. Brian Ewing
The Rockingham County Board of Education has approved doing away with corporal punishment for students.
Rockingham joins 69 other districts in the state, including Guilford County Schools, in doing so.
The 6-5 vote came after a brief discussion among board members, which included recollections of having the punishment doled out by teachers and principals.
"If it wasn't for corporal punishment, I wouldn't be here," said board member Hal Griffin. "I learned how to beg in a principal's office. But we live in a much more complicated time."
The decision comes after legislators changed laws governing corporal punishment last year. State law prohibits the use of corporal punishment on students with disabilities.
Jill Wilson, the school board's attorney, has noted about a third of students in the district are covered under that designation.
Board member Ron Price was the most vocal advocate for keeping some sort of corporal punishment policy.
Price proposed a policy that would require a parent come to the school and spank the child or be present when a principal spanked their child.
"It removes the liability because the parent will be there," he said.
District officials said that while records of corporal punishment aren't kept, it's believed it hasn't been administered in a county school in more than two years.
The board also heard from members of the county educators' association. The group did an informal survey of its 600 members, receiving feedback from 145 teachers. Of that number, 103 were in favor of eliminating corporal punishment.
Debra Wilson, an association member and a Western Rockingham Middle teacher, read the board results from various studies linking corporal punishment to lower IQ scores, slower mental development and increased negative outcomes, such as depression.
"It seems at odds with our goal of creating a safe learning environment," Wilson said.
Copyright © 2011 News & Record
Corpun file 23064 at www.corpun.com
myfoxmemphis.com (Fox 13 TV News), Memphis, Tennessee, 9 February 2011
Sparing the Rod: Spanking in Schools
By Lauren Lee
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Most of Europe and 30 of the 50 states in America don't allow spanking in school. Corporal punishment is allowed in Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee but in Shelby County, spanking is allowed in some schools but not in others.
The image of the catholic school nun wielding a ruler is one often associated with corporal punishment in school but there is a long history with physical discipline in public schools in Shelby County.
In fact, it's practiced now in the Shelby County school district. It's banned in Memphis City Schools, but that could change, very soon.
The beginning of corporal punishment in school is directly related to the influence of corporal punishment endorsed by the church. Even with the modern separation of church and state, the influence remains today.
"A person in authority, who loves his or her children, corrects them through discipline. Sometimes that discipline is physical, that's my belief system", said Pastor Kenneth Whalum Jr.
Whalum is a Baptist pastor. He is also a member of the Memphis City School Board of Education. MCS does not allow corporal punishment in schools, but Whalum wants to see it brought back.
"There was a time when people used to talk about, teachers loved their students, and principals loved their kids. Well, if you love them you have to correct them."
Whalum could soon get his wish to return paddling to Memphis City School children, although he is against a consolidated school system. The March 8th referendum could result in Shelby County Schools absorbing Memphis City Schools which would mean an immediate adoption of county policies, including corporal punishment.
"Parents want strong discipline, most parents want strong discipline in the classroom. They want their child to be disciplined," said Mike Wissman. Shelby County Schools board member Mike Wissman says paddling is only used when other discipline methods haven't worked, and parents can opt out of the program but he worries about the policy extending to 105,000 Memphis students.
"I don't think it will be welcome by many of the Memphis parents just because there has not been the policy in place in Memphis City Schools," said Wissman.
But Memphis City School Board Member Martavius Jones, who is for consolidation, and against corporal punishment in school, says post merger policies are up for debate.
"That new unified board would have to make the decision and I would hope that unified board would make a data driven decision," said Jones. Jones said data showed that same children were being paddled repeatedly and with no improvement. He says that's why the district abandoned the policy more than four years ago. He also worries there's a fine line between discipline and abuse when you're talking about a school official paddling a child.
"There's always the potential for that to happen and I'm sure that is a concern of every school official," said Jones.
"With all the technology we have man, you not going to be able to abuse a kid in the school, man. Cell phones with a camera, cameras in the ceiling, cameras in the air conditioning vent, please," said Whalum.
Wissman says paddling is abuse when it's done out of anger rather than for discipline and, he says the policy isn't going anywhere. Shelby County Schools says only about one third of schools use corporal punishment, and only a small number of kids are paddled every year.
"Sometimes the thought of paddling will deter people from doing bad behavior," said Wissman.
Whalum agrees on the premise but disagrees that Memphis parents wouldn't welcome the policy.
"They would sign a form that says I don't want my kid spanked. Ok. But about 80 percent of those reasonable parents would say, where do I sign cause I can't do anything with him at home, help me," said Whalum.
TM and © 2011 Fox Television Stations, Inc., and its related entities. All rights reserved.
Corpun file 23063 at www.corpun.com
Charleston Daily Mail, West Virginia, 10 February 2011
Putnam delegate wants paddling back in schools
Brian Savilla claims repealing ban on corporal punishment may alleviate disciplinary problems
By Jared Hunt
Daily Mail Capitol Reporter
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Putnam County delegate wants lawmakers to reconsider the state's ban on paddling in schools.
Known as corporal punishment, the state outlawed the practice of physically reprimanding students in 1994, but Delegate Brian Savilla, R-Putnam, would like to see that ban repealed.
Savilla on Wednesday introduced House Bill 3081, which would allow for reasonable corporal punishment in schools.
The bill calls for the teacher administering the punishment to be of the same gender as the student being punished. The punishment would have to be supervised by a teacher or administrator of the opposite gender.
West Virginia banned paddling after many states across the country had done so through the 1980s and 1990s.
Savilla, 28, said that has led to a generation gap between students who attended school when paddles were used and those who came later.
"I firmly believe it's led to a lack of respect," he said. "My generation was the first to see these mass killings in school - you saw Columbine and the like.
"Back when we had paddling, you did have instances, but they were on a smaller scale. When there was paddling, there was more discipline in school, and the system itself was more structured."
As a substitute teacher for the past several years, Savilla said he has talked to his colleagues about student behavior and the overwhelming majority believes they lost control of their classrooms when paddling was banned.
The current methods of detention, suspension and expulsion have been shown to be ineffective, he said.
"All the ways of discipline now, it's actually worse for the student than paddling because their answer is either a time-out situation or taking them completely out of school," Savilla said.
"They talk about self-esteem, they talk about how they want every kid to learn, but yet their answer is to take the kid out of the classroom. And that is harming their future instead of just letting the teacher paddle them and sit them back down and teach them."
He said allowing teachers to discipline kids in the classroom would give them more time to focus on instruction - time now spent filling out detention and suspension paperwork.
"I think when you're allowed to discipline the kids who get out of line, then that affects everything," he said. "That gives the teacher more time to worry about the class instead of discipline.
"Nowadays, there's no consequences to bad behavior, so if a kid sees another kid act up, they act. But if they see that kid get disciplined, they know they'll get disciplined."
Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association, acknowledges a growing discipline problem in schools but doesn't think a return to corporal punishment is the answer.
"Personally, I applaud the delegate's effort to put some accountability back on students and recognizing that in many areas there is a discipline problem," Lee said.
"While this may be a popular concept for some, there are others that may be very tentative to do something like this in this day and age of lawsuits."
Before the ban, the state Department of Education studied the number of paddlings across the state.
In the 1990-91 school year, corporal punishment was used in 1,816 incidents.
Marion County was responsible for 816, followed by Lincoln County with 289, Wayne County with 133 and Logan County with 91.
Some opponents have argued there's nothing to stop a teacher who had a bad night arguing with a spouse from taking that out on a student the next day.
Instead of corporal punishment, the WVEA is advocating for greater use of alternative education environments - as far down as the grade-school level.
Lee said that keeps a child in school without disrupting the regular classroom.
"I think we need to recognize that there are alternative means of discipline and recognize that in many cases students have to have a different form of punishment," Lee said.
Both Lee and Savilla said discipline problems aren't confined to schools.
"It's an implication on society as a whole," Lee said. "The lack of respect is not just in the classroom anymore, it's in society, and we really need to figure out how to fix the family units and social accountability.
"I think we need answers, and I think we need student accountability, and we need to bring respect back into not only our schools but our society as a whole."
Savilla attributed the loss of respect to more than the ban on paddling.
"The direct correlation of first, taking out the Bible; second, taking out prayer in school; then finally taking out discipline - each time each of those three was taken out, there was a massive decline in school safety," he said. "Everything gradually got worse."
He said restoring discipline in schools might be a way to help restore the social fabric.
"That kid who is the problem is not receiving the discipline at home. It gives them at least some place where someone will care about them and discipline them because discipline is caring," he said. "As the older generation would say, it's tough love."
The bill has been referred to both the House Education and Judiciary Committees, but the chances of it coming up for discussion are slim to none.
"I personally do not support (corporal punishment), and don't think there'd be much support among the legislators," said House Education Chairman Mary Poling, D-Barbour.
Savilla said he would at least like to see the issue of discipline and respect in society come up for debate.
"It's almost like one of those hush issues that people see it's a problem in the background but they're afraid to bring it to light because of the different stances to how to discipline," he said.
"Just taking the time to acknowledge that there's a problem would help the problem because you'd have to address it then."
© Copyright 2011 Charleston Daily Mail
Corpun file 23073 at www.corpun.com
Statesville Record & Landmark, North Carolina, 15 February 2011
I-SS axes corporal punishment policy
By Chyna Broadnax
The Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education decided to wipe the district's corporal punishment policy from the books during its monthly meeting Monday.
The board moved to strike down the policy in response to the North Carolina General Assembly's recent ruling that districts with corporal punishment guidelines on their books can use them on students with disabilities if parents grant permission. That ruling would have forced I-SS to distribute some 2,500 letters to parents informing them of the policy and offering them an opportunity to either waive or accept it to be used on their children.
I-SS already had a directive in place against the use of corporal punishment.
Quickly after Deputy Superintendent of Operations Ron Hargrave introduced the agenda item during the meeting, board member Anna Bonham made her vote clear.
"I would like to make a motion to strike this policy," she said.
Board member Bryan Shoemaker suggested that instead of getting rid of the policy entirely, the board make four revisions and an amendment to it that would not permit corporal punishment on students with disabilities, but would still allow the policy to exist.
In a prepared statement Shoemaker said the use of corporal punishment shows that "in life there are consequences."
In the end, however, the board voted 5-2 in favor of getting rid of the policy, with John B. Rogers Jr. joining Shoemaker in opposition.
Superintendent Brady Johnson said the days of corporal punishment in public schools are over.
"We are in a very different community with a different set of standards," he said.
Johnson said he has not been able to find research that supports the idea that corporal punishment deters negative behavior in schools.
"This is a tool the vast majority of principals do not feel comfortable using," Johnson said in referring to an I-SS survey in which all but two principals said they wouldn't consider using corporal punishment in their schools.
Statesville Record & Landmark © Copyright 2011 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General company.
Corpun file 23091 at www.corpun.com
kristv.com (KRIS-TV), Corpus Christi, Texas, 16 February 2011
School Spankings Under Attack: Should They Continue?
By Steven Romo
CORPUS CHRISTI - There's a new push in Texas to eliminate spankings from schools. A bill has been filed to stop the practice, but several districts in our area still allow corporal punishment on campus.
Corporal Punishment, spankings, or paddling... No matter what you call it, physical punishments in schools stir some strong opinions from parents and educators. We found out it's alive and well in many local school districts.
"At the beginning of every school year, we send out a waiver to parents and they can sign off. If they don't want their kids to be spanked, we do not spank them," said Patrick Romero, Asst. Superintendent of the Calallen Independent School District.
In the Calallen school district, parents have to sign consent forms before a spanking is given on campus. Administrators say, the use of those spankings has drastically declined over the years.
"There's been a decline over the years. I think the main reason parents ask schools to spank their kids is because it's typically in lieu of other forms of punishment," Romero said.
The Tuloso-Midway district also allows spankings on its campuses. Interim Superintendent Dr. Suzanne Nelson says, as in the Calallen district, parents often choose to have their kids spanked rather than more time-consuming punishments.
"More often, they request that we use that option. I've even had a parent offer to come in to give the licks himself," said Nelson.
While these districts still have the option to spank misbehaving students, they rarely put the paddle into use. And when it is used, they say it's normally at a parent's request.
It's not clear whether Texas House Bill 916, filed to abolish corporal punishments in schools, will pass.
But, as Nelson says, even if it isn't used regularly, sometimes the threat of a paddling is enough.
"And, it may be preventing some bad behavior from students who may fear getting paddled," Nelson said.
Corpus Christi I.S.D. does not allow on campus spankings.
To find out more about the policy at area districts, contact the administration offices for a copy of the corporal punishment policies.
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Corpun file 23102 at www.corpun.com
The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, 25 February 2011
St. Augustine High School alumni support paddling students
By Andrew Vanacore
One by one, alumni of St. Augustine High School in the 7th Ward took the microphone near half-court in the school's packed gymnasium Thursday night. They had graduated as long ago as the 1960s and as recently as just a few years. But almost to a man they recalled one paddling at the hands of a St. Augustine teacher that turned them around, taught them a lesson, finally pushed them from a B to an A.
Chris Granger, The Times-Picayune
St. Augustine High School alumni aimed their impassioned defense of corporal punishment -- or corporal 'correction,' as many of them suggested it be called -- at New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond, center, and other clergymen.
These recollections come up as the fate of a 60-year-old tradition of corporal punishment at St. Augustine faces a potential end.
Alumni aimed their impassioned defense of corporal punishment -- or corporal "correction," as many of them suggested it be called -- at New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond and other church officials seated under the basketball hoop. The archbishop's concern about the policy prompted the school's board of trustees, made up of priests from the Josephite order that founded the school, to suspend paddling this school year for the first time in St. Augustine's history.
In doing so they overruled objections from the local board of directors that runs daily operations at St. Augustine, a historically black, all-boys school that has furnished generations of New Orleans political and business leaders.
After a nearly four-hour meeting Thursday night, little had been resolved.
Aymond told reporters he had listed carefully to the concerns voiced by a crowd, but reiterated his concern about injuries reported by parents, and his own unease with overseeing the only Catholic school in the country that still paddles.
New Orleans public schools have largely done away with paddling as well. Yet there are plenty of people who still argue that the paddle had an undeniable role in lending St. Augustine the high reputation it has today. It was the paddle, they say, that kept students in line and helped make future leaders of them.
"It worked on us," said 1961 graduate Lambert Boissiere Jr., a former state senator and city councilman, one of a long list of notable alumni that also includes former New Orleans Mayor Sidney Barthelemy and New York Times Washington Bureau Chief Dean Baquet.
"After one or two times with the paddle, you wouldn't cut up any more," Boissiere said. "Some of those priests could swing."
Still, the use of corporal punishment is unusual in New Orleans, if not the rest of Louisiana. The state-run Recovery School District, which includes nearly 70 public schools in New Orleans, adheres to a student code of conduct that bars corporal punishment.
It's more commonly tolerated in the rest of the state. Louisiana law leaves it up to individual school districts to decide whether or not to allow corporal punishment. And at last count, 56 out of 70 school districts still gave it the OK, according to Barry Landry, press secretary for the state Department of Education.
Nationally, the practice is rare. Just 12 percent of schools in the U.S. allowed corporal punishment and only 9 percent actually used it during the 2007-08 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the most recent year for which data are available.
Even so, taking the paddle out of St. Augustine would put a long tradition to rest.
Josephite priests, with the support of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, opened St. Augustine in 1951 and established the school as the premier school for black students at a time when Catholic high schools in the city were still segregated. The priests who ran the school instilled their students with self-respect -- addressing each of them as "mister" -- and firm discipline.
"The paddling was to teach you that there are consequences to actions," said Warren Johnson, a doctor and alumnus who attended Thursday's meeting. "You carry that through the rest of your life."
In one case remembered by Judge Kern Reese as "The St. Eubaldus Day Massacre of 1969," physics teacher Armand Bertrand lined up nearly a whole class of students who had failed an exam and paddled all of them. As Reese recalled in an interview with The Times-Picayune in 1989, another teacher leaned out of a door to ask what was going on.
"Education," Bertrand said.
© 2010 New Orleans Net LLC. All Rights Reserved.
RELATED VIDEO CLIP
Three-minute news report (25 February 2011) from local TV station Fox 8 in New Orleans on the mass meeting described above. Interviews with parents and alumni who oppose the abandonment of the paddle at St Augs. Film cameras were not allowed into the meeting itself. The clip also includes a comment from the archbishop, but in addition there is some highly irrelevant stock footage of parental CP -- an entirely different thing from school CP -- and pictures of a strap, which is silly because this news story is very specifically about the paddle.
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 for private, non-profit, historical research and education purposes only. It must not be redistributed or republished in any commercial context.
Follow-up: 5 March 2011 - 'Spank me': Catholic schoolboys rally in SUPPORT of paddling as corporal punishment is debated