corpun logoWorld Corporal Punishment Research

rainbow ruler   :  Archive   :  2014   :  US Schools May 2014


School CP - May 2014

Corpun file 25335 at

ABC News logo (WSOC-TV), Charlotte, North Carolina, 1 May 2014

Teacher reprimanded for spanking student on birthday

By Greg Suskin

Screen grab from the video

NEWLAND, N.C. -- An Avery County teacher who Channel 9 is not identifying was reprimanded after an incident that was caught on a student's cellphone in March during a class at Avery County High School.

School Superintendent David Burleson said the teacher was giving the student a birthday spanking and it was meant in fun. In the cellphone video, it shows the student lying across the teacher's lap at a desk with students laughing in the background.

Burleson said a student in the class showed the video to another teacher and that led to questions.

The superintendent said the long-time teacher was not suspended but was given a verbal and written reprimand, and told that it could not happen again.

That was in line with the legal counsel given to school officials about how to properly handle the incident, Burleson said.

The teacher met with the principal and the superintendent.

Students at the school said they felt the incident was a joke and they didn't take it seriously.

School officials said the student who was lying across the teacher's lap was playing along, and was not offended or humiliated.

The teacher seen in that video spoke to Channel 9 Thursday but she did not want to comment.

© 2014 Cox Media Group.


This 20-second video shows the last part (whacks 12 through 18) of the birthday spanking under way. The teacher, whose identity has been obscured, is heard giving the traditional "one to grow on" at the end. There is great hilarity in the room and it is obvious that this is a harmless and purely humorous event.


Corpun file 25288 at

Knoxville News Sentinel, Tennessee, 5 May 2014

Teachers: the short end of the stick, the long end of the paddle

By George Korda


A few weeks ago, when asked to speak to a class at a Knox County high school, I arrived early. The entry doors were locked. I pushed a buzzer, identified myself, and the door was released.

At the classroom, during class change, two male students came into the room and asked the teacher for some sort of special consideration for a deadline they'd missed on something. She said no.

They joked with her for a moment, asking for her to relent, but she said they hadn't met the criteria, and that was that.

They didn't stop. They became more persistent, their tones somewhat more argumentative. An edge entered their voices. A belligerence started to show itself. At this point I momentarily considered stepping in and saying something, but nothing had escalated to a threat, this wasn't my territory, and I was only a visitor. Had it gone much further, those constraints wouldn't have mattered. But finally, they left.

After my talk I stood in the hallway during class change with a male teacher positioned next to his classroom door. A group of seven or eight students about 15 feet away laughed and joked with each other.

The teacher told them to go on to class. He might as well have been talking to his door. He said again, go on to class. Again, they ignored him. A couple of them walked off within a few seconds. The rest left just before the bell rang.

These were two momentary and, on the whole, not terribly serious incidents. But they got my attention. As I left the school I wondered about the frustrations teachers face every day dealing with students who treat them like potted plants, or worse.

Driving away, I thought about Edgewood Junior High School, Merritt Island, Florida, and Coach Casey Stephenson, 1965. Coach Stephenson had a paddle with holes drilled in it to reduce the air resistance when he put it to use.

One day after gym class I and two other guys, after showering, were in various stages of dressing for class as we threw a tied-up towel around like a football. We were running late and the towel nearly hit Coach Stephenson as he walked into the locker room. He was unamused. In his hand was his paddle.

The other two got it first. Farthest away, I finished dressing faster than I ever had in my life. Then came my turn. Just one or two whacks, for emphasis.

That was the end of it. No complaints to parents. No demands for an apology. No threats of lawsuits. From that point forward, after P.E. I dressed for class without distraction. Today, Coach Stephenson would be suspended, an investigation launched, and some advocacy group would hold a news conference to denounce bullying and brutality by school administrators.

On the other extreme was my fourth-grade teacher, who meted out corporal punishment with a frequency and quantity that still widens my eyes after nearly 50 years. She once spanked a student 80 times because he missed 80 questions on a 100-question test. I remember it clearly because we traded papers for grading purposes, and as she read out the answers I put the 80 'x' marks on his paper. Today she would be in the news, and rightly so.

Corporal punishment is seen by many as a time-honored and acceptable disciplinary step, but others call it child abuse. Coach Stephenson used it to make a point; my fourth-grade teacher was, in a word, excessive.

Today institutional policies, procedures and processes rule the disciplinary process. Creating a "constructive learning environment" is said to be the principal goal. However, avoiding lawsuits is the more likely objective.

Some years ago, walking through a high school with its vice principal, we saw a young couple groping each other in the middle of the commons area during a class change. Realizing that I wondered if that was acceptable student behavior, he said, "I could say something to them but I know their parents and they'll be down here this afternoon threatening us with lawsuits."

On that score, the ASSA, "The School Superintendents Association," published an article on its website in 2007 that addresses the difficulties under which teachers and administrators labor. The article is by James Wasser, identified as superintendent of the Freehold Regional High School District, Englishtown, N.J.

"By the very nature of our business, public education is, without a doubt, vulnerable to legal attacks: Title VII, Title IX, claims under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, allegations of employee/student misconduct, bullying, discrimination, etc. The fear of being sued has forced public school teachers and administrators across the country to re-evaluate what they do and modify traditional curricular activities and co-curricular programs. It's simply easier and certainly less expensive to modify or eliminate programs than to have to deal with the worry of lengthy litigation."

This reaction helped drive the mindless "zero tolerance" policies that substitute bureaucratic, one-size-fits-all responses for common sense. It's why seven-year-olds are suspended for biting a pastry into the shape of a gun. Or a six-year-old suspended for sexual harassment for kissing a girl classmate on the cheek. Zero tolerance is the dumbing-down of school disciplinary procedures.

As always, the key to solving the problem is the parents. But in today's world, many of them are the biggest part of the problem.

There's a cartoon making the rounds on the internet. It shows a mother and father in the 1960s confronting their child about a 'D' on his report card. "How could you let this happen?" they ask.

The next panel is set in the present day. The parents shout at the teacher, "How could you let this happen?"

Substitute disciplinary action in the above example and the problem becomes clearer. That's not to say teachers are always right and students always wrong, or that all policies and procedures apart from a paddle are bad.

What seems to be driving today's scholastic disciplinary atmosphere appears to be contained in one word: Fear. Fear of lawsuits; fear of criticism; fear of angry or aggrieved parents; fear of unruly students; fear of going too far; fear of not going far enough.

Fear paralyzes. It doesn't create a constructive learning environment. If there were an easy answer it would have surfaced by now. But in the present environment teachers appear to be getting the short end of the stick. Or the long end of the paddle, figuratively speaking.

George Korda is political analyst for WATE-TV, appearing Sundays on "Tennessee This Week." He is a frequent speaker and writer on political and news media subjects. He is president of Korda Communications, a public relations and communications consulting firm.

© 2014 Knoxville News Sentinel. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 25320 at


St Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri, 16 May 2014

How some major legislation fared in the Missouri General Assembly

By Virginia Young


Bonds: Authorizes the state Board of Public Buildings to issue $600 million in bonds for deferred maintenance projects across the state. (SB723)



Oral cancer: Limits patients' out-of-pocket costs for oral anti-cancer drugs to $75 per month after they meet their deductible. (SB668)




Spanking: Prohibits corporal punishment from being used in public and private schools. (SB827)

Virginia Young is the Jefferson City bureau chief of the Post-Dispatch.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved.

Corpun file 25341 at

The Herald Chronicle, Winchester, Tennessee, 20 May 2014

FC School Board votes to keep corporal punishment

Stylized image of teacher with paddle

Corporal punishment at Franklin County Schools remains in effect.

The Board of Education approved last week in a 6-1 vote to keep its corporal punishment policy in place. Chris McDonough was the sole board member to vote against the measure.

Corporal punishment is a form of physical reprimand that involves the deliberate infliction of pain as retribution for an offence.

It is also used to discipline or reform a wrongdoer, or to deter attitudes or behavior deemed unacceptable. The term usually refers to methodically striking the offender with the open hand or with an implement.

Dr. Rebecca Sharber, Franklin County Schools director, said studies have shown that corporal punishment has been an ineffective discipline measure. She added that corporal punishment also leaves questions about potential lawsuits.

"This is a step in a progressive direction to eliminate this," Sharber said, referring to removing corporal punishment from the system's student behavior policies.

Board member Chris Guess said corporal punishment has its merits.

He said the discipline involves students having a "fear of the unknown," which can be an effective means to sway them toward proper behavior.

"In certain circumstances, it is effective," Guess said, adding that parents can opt their children out from corporal punishment.


Board member Cleijo Walker echoed Guess' assessment.

"It's something we need to leave in place," she said, referring to the corporal punishment policy.

The policy says that:

"Any principal, assistant principal or teacher may use corporal punishment against any student for good cause in order to maintain discipline and order with the public schools.

"Corporal punishment shall be administered only after other less stringent measures have failed or if the conduct of a student is of such nature that corporal punishment is the only reasonable form of punishment under the circumstances.

"The instrument to be used in administering corporal punishment shall be approved by the principal.

"Corporal punishment shall be administered in the presence of another professional employee, preferably the principal or assistant principal. Corporal punishment shall be appropriately administered in the office area.

"The nature of the punishment will be such that it is in proportion to the gravity of the office, the apparent motive and disposition to the offender and the influence of the offender's example and the conduct of others.

"In determining the use and degree of corporal punishment, consideration will be given to the age, sex, size, physical and emotional condition of the child.

"A disciplinary record shall be maintained by the classroom teacher and/or administrator and shall contain the name of the student, the type of misconduct, the type of corporal punishment administered, the name of the person administering the punishment, the name of the witness present and the date and time of the punishment.

"Disciplinary records shall be filed in the school office and made available to parents or students, whichever is appropriate."

Copyright 2014 Lakeway Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 25340 at

Monroe County Journal, Amory, Mississippi, 21 May 2014

Amory considers change in paddling, electronics policies

By Emily Tubb



AMORY -- The Amory School Board May 12 agreed to look at a proposal that would allow teachers to paddle students. According to Amory School District superintendent Tony Cook, not having the ability to paddle students is one of the biggest complaints he gets from teachers.

"When the instructor can't do it, that takes the power out of their hands," Cook said. The current policy states that corporal punishment can be delivered by principals only.

The board also agreed to revisit the policy on electronic use by students. A policy that will allow for students to use iPads, Kindles, laptops and phones in the classroom is being considered and is expected to pass.

"We will just have to follow this policy to the letter and when they're not using these electronics for the right purpose, they need to be put up and the teachers are going to need to keep theirs put up also," said school board secretary Mindy Brand.


Corpun file 25369 at

ABC News logo (WLOS News 13), Asheville, North Carolina, 22 May 2014

Corporal Punishment Ends in McDowell Schools


McDowell County's School Board has voted to put a stop to paddling and spanking in its classrooms. McDowell was only one of 15 school districts in the state that still allowed spanking students as a form of punishment, until tonight.

The policy in McDowell was three smacks on the bottom, administered by the principal, and it was only used for certain offenses, such as vulgar language or smoking.

The state Board of Education last year passed a resolution opposing corporal punishment, but it was largely symbolic because the board does not have the power to ban paddling in schools.

The state board says spanking could have a negative impact on children.

They encourage other, more effective ways of disciplining children.

Only one member of the McDowell County School Board voted to keep corporal punishment tonight.

© 2014, WLOS ABC 13 | Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 25342 at

The Suwannee Democrat, Live Oak, Florida, 30 May 2014

Corporal punishment: Suwannee schools ranked highest in state two consecutive school years

By Bryant Thigpen
Suwannee Democrat


Live Oak -- The Suwannee County School District led the state in the use of corporal punishment on students across all grades for school years 2011-12 and 2012-13, according to Florida Department of Education and school district reports.

What is corporal punishment?

The Florida Department of Education defines corporal punishment as "the moderate use of physical force or physical contact by a teacher or principal to maintain discipline or to enforce school rule."

The school district has the authority to prohibit the use of corporal punishment if they desire, provided the school board adopts, or has adopted, a written program of alternative control or discipline.

FDOE reports

In the FDOE reports on corporal punishment, students are only counted once for each type of disciplinary action, according to Cheryl Etters, FDOE public information officer.

"The school districts report the data to the FDOE and the district data is saved in state databases. When we create a report that is 'unduplicated,' what that means is that we determine the number of unique students within the school or within a school district who have received disciplinary action," said Etters. "Thus, if student 'A' has three reported actions and student 'B' has two reported actions, for all 100 students in the school there would be an 'unduplicated' report of two disciplinary actions, not five."

The data collected from the Suwannee County School District, however, provides the actual number of times corporal punishment was used.

In Suwannee County, the number of times corporal punishment was used has been inconsistent over the last five years.

2009-10 school year

During the 2009-10 school year, FDOE reported 206 uses of corporal punishment.

Suwannee County reported corporal punishment was used 269 times during the school year.

2010-11 school year

In 2010-11, FDOE reported 206 uses of corporal punishment.

Suwannee County Schools reported corporal punishment was used 293 times during the school year.

2011-12 school year

During the 2011-12 school year, the use [of] corporal punishment jumped to 360, while the student population dropped from 6,172 to 6,060, FDOE reported.

The district reported 493 uses of corporal punishment that year, which was the highest in the state.

2012-13 school year

In 2012-13, FDOE reported Suwannee County also ranked highest in state for the use of corporal punishment. According to DOE, corporal punishment was used 359 times.

The District reported using corporal punishment 513 times during the school year.

2013-14 school year

While FDOE has not released its report yet for the current school year, the school district told the Democrat that corporal punishment had been used 219 times as of mid May.

Corporal punishment over 20 years

FDOE reported over the past 20 years that the use of corporal punishment in schools statewide has dropped significantly. The reports show that corporal punishment was used 24,198 times during school year 1991-92. In 2011-12, corporal punishment was used 2,966 times.

The number of school districts reporting the use of corporal punishment on students has also decreased over the last two decades.

In 1991-92, FDOE reported 53 school districts that used corporal punishment. That number decreased to 28 school districts in 2011-12.

The superintendent's view

According to Superintendent of Schools Jerry Scarborough, the student has the choice to accept corporal punishment or another form of discipline.

"Corporal punishment is one of the methods in which students are disciplined in our schools," Scarborough said. "It should be pointed out that corporal punishment is only administered under the following conditions: a student is given the choice of accepting corporal punishment or other disciplinary actions; permission must be granted by parents prior to administering corporal punishment; and corporal punishment can only be administered in the presence of another administrator."

Scarborough continued, "We will continue to monitor corporal punishment as it is administered properly by our school administrators."

About this website

Search this site

Illustrated article: American school paddling

Other external links: US school CP

Archive 2014: USA

Video clips

Picture index

Previous month

Following month

blob THE ARCHIVE index

blob Video clips

blob Picture index

blob About this website

blob Country files  Main menu page

Copyright © C. Farrell 2014
Page created November 2014