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Keene Star, Burleson, Texas, 9 December 2012
School board's decision on corporal punishment criticized by child advocate groups
By Paul Gnadt
The Oct. 22 decision by the Keene ISD school board to support
the request of two administrators to retain corporal punishment
in the policy handbook has drawn criticism from a national
organization that advocates for non violence against children.
"I recommend we do away with it because of liability issues and the danger of injury to a child," she said. "It's safer to call the parents and send the student home."
Corporal punishment is used only in the elementary school, not
the junior high or high school, Smith said.
It is used as a last resort for repeat offenders and only after the student's parents have been notified, Thompson said.
"Most parents say, 'go ahead.'" Thompson said.
"We use a paddle and there has to be an adult witness."
"Teachers do not administer corporal punishment," Blair said. "I paddle the boys and Shannon paddles the girls."
For the student, the anticipation is worse than the actual paddling, Blair said. "It's the buildup that is the worst for them," he said.
The alternative is In-School Suspension or suspension from school, Thompson said.
"We have ISS and suspension (from school), but some
students think suspension is a vacation," Blair said.
"Either means a student is out of class. For some, ISS is
it. But when a student is sent to the office, that means he or
she has been disruptive all day."
"Studies show that the student thinks, 'I deserved it and it's over. I received what I deserved,'" Becker said. "I would hate to take this discipline tool away from the administrators."
Becker made a motion to retain corporal punishment in the elementary school only, not in the junior high or high school. The motion was seconded by board member Dan Roberts and passed unanimously.
Policies of area school districts
According to the Burleson ISD handbook, corporal punishment
shall not be administered to a student whose parent has submitted
to the principal a signed statement for the current school year
prohibiting the use of corporal punishment with his or her child.
The parent may reinstate permission to use corporal punishment at
any time during the school year by submitting a signed statement
to the principal.
The BISD has its most success with all of the other options
available when dealing with student discipline, so corporal
punishment becomes a last resort, Crummel said.
At a recent meeting of campus principals, Sellers recommended they understand the legalities of using corporal punishment and told them that even if they're in the right, the risk of legalities is too great to use it, he said.
"We recommend it as a very, very last option with the parents involved in the decision," Sellers said. "We look for other options."
Sellers is in the process of completing a survey from the
federal Office of Civil Rights and confirmed that Joshua ISD has
not used corporal punishment this year, he said.
Keeping students in school
Keeping students in the classroom is the major reason for the Alvarado ISD's support of corporal punishment, Superintendent Chester Juroska said.
But, the student is given the option of spending time in
In-School Suspension or corporal punishment, Juroska said.
In the Alvarado ISD this year, two high school students have received corporal punishment, AISD public information officer Tommy Brown said.
"The parents must approve its use two times," Brown said. "First, when they sign a permission letter in the registration packet, and second when they are called before it is administered."
Corporal punishment is not administered to elementary students in the Alvarado ISD, Juroska said.
Through October in Alvarado, no junior high school students have received corporal punishment, but two high school students have, Brown said.
"We've always had it in the policy book, but if parents didn't want it, we wouldn't have it," Brown said. "As of now, the parents approve of us doing it."
Texas leads the nation
Nationwide, 29 states have banned corporal punishment in
schools, while 21 permit its use, according to the Columbus,
Ohio,-based Center for Effective Discipline.
Copyright 2012 Keene Star. All rights reserved.
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