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rainbow ruler   :  Archive   :  2014   :  US Schools Oct 2014


School CP - October 2014

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Fox 16 (KLRT-TV), Little Rock, Arkansas, 1 October 2014

After Being Bruised, Morrilton High School Student Wants School Spankings to Stop

By Associated Press


MORRILTON, AR -- Spanking in schools is a topic many parents and students are divided on. Some want it to end, others say they support. One Morrilton High School student is completely against the policy after, he said, he was bruised.

The 15-year-old told FOX 16's Leah Uko that if he ever gets into trouble at school again he will choose detention as punishment.

"Yes if I would have known that he would have left bruises on me, yes," the boy said.

He said he was in a heated argument with another student when the student backed him into a corner. The teen, who was ADHD, said he used his calming techniques to avoid the escalating situation. He said he went outside of the classroom to tell his teacher, but according to the teen, the teacher only believed the other student's account when she sent them both to the principal's office.

"He swung as hard as he could," the teen said he was both mad and angry. "I broke down in the hallway when I was going back to class."

According to the teen's mother, Tonya Butler, her son had been having anger problems with faculty at the school lately. She said he struggled with anger and other emotional issues. While she supported Arkansas' law that allows corporal punishment, she agreed with her son that the spanking was too harsh.

"I don't believe in bruising and leaving marks on a child," Butler said.

The South Conway County School District's (SCCSD) superintendent, Shawn Halbrook responded to this situation in a statement.

Halbrook wrote that, "like the overwhelming majority of Arkansas public schools, corporal punishment is permitted by our student handbook and board policies, as is permitted by Arkansas law." He added that the district was in the process of investigating the parent and student's allegations and would "take whatever action is appropriate then", but "In the meantime, we stand behind our policy, our practices, and our employees."

SCCSD's corporal policy states that administrators can spank students if they see fit. The spanking has to take place in private and the parent has to give authority. The student can also refuse a spanking, but may face other punishment, such as detention or suspension.

According to the teen, he was given the options of detention or a spanking, which is the school's protocol. He said he chose a spanking because he did not want to sit for hours in a secluded classroom. Butler said the school called her to ask for authority to spank her son. Butler said she wanted her son to be sent to detention instead, but if he chose a spanking then the school had her permission.

The teen said he was only supposed to be struck three times, but because he moved, he said the principal struck him again.

In his statement, Halbrook said SCCSD "follows the discipline policies with as much love and respect as possible" for its students. Butler did not agree.

"By the look of the pictures and stuff, I don't think it was done in love at all."

The teen admitted he was not fully innocent in the situation, but if he were to get caught up in it again, he wanted the choice of corporal punishment to be left up to his mother and not him.

"Before kids choose, they need to think about it," he continued. "They need to think about what they're choosing."

Butler said she was taking her son out of Morrilton High School and planned to press charges against the school.

There are 19 states in the United States that allow spanking in schools.

According to the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, 22,575 were struck by educators from 2005 to 2006 making the state number three out of nine states where the most children got hit in school. For those same years, 4.7 percent of students got hit in school, which ranked Arkansas at number two out of nine states where the highest percentage of kids got hit in school.

Parents and educators who supported corporal punishment argued that it made students respect authority and discouraged them from missing out on their education by choosing to take suspension instead. Supporters said often times these days, educators took the place of parents. If students were suspended, they felt it did more harm than good.

Leah Uko contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 25627 at

The Tennessean, Nashville, 7 October 2014

Corporal punishment drops in Middle Tennessee

Corporal punishment is down in Midstate schools, according to federal data

By Brian Wilson



The use of corporal punishment in Middle Tennessee's public schools has largely dropped even though the practice of paddling still has support.

Data from the U.S. Department of Education show all but one district surrounding Davidson County had fewer instances of paddling between the 2009-10 and 2011-12 school years.

A 2012 University of Chicago survey showed more than 70 percent of respondents supported using corporal punishment. The practice was found especially favorable in southern states.

Debates about spanking returned to the national conversation recently after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse in early September after police said he injured his 4-year-old son while disciplining the child with a wooden switch.

Tennessee is one of 19 states that allow corporal punishment at public schools and one of the 10 states that use the practice most often. There are pockets of disagreement: Metro Nashville, Williamson County, Franklin and Murfreesboro City Schools ban the practice entirely.

The rate of paddling dropped by more than half in Nashville-area school districts that allow the practice, according to federal data gathered between 2009 and 2012.


Supporters of corporal punishment see it as a straightforward, manageable way to maintain discipline, said Jeff Cordell, a former principal and current Sumner County school board member. He said paddling was effective when he worked in the schools.

"If it's used right, there's no need to get rid of it," he said.

When he led White House High School, he said, he gave students a choice to either have a few brief licks or have a lengthier, in-school suspension.

In the survey, Sumner County Schools reported 135 corporal punishments, twice as many instances than the rest of Nashville-area school districts combined.

Sumner County Schools spokesman Jeremy Johnson declined to speculate about why the district's corporal punishment rate was far higher than other area school districts.

He reiterated that they respect the wishes of parents when it comes to paddling. In many cases, he said, parents request the schools administer the punishment themselves.

In other districts, such as Rutherford County Schools, school officials are asking for parental input and making sure principals can discipline in whatever way they see fit.

"Our Code of Discipline gives principals multiple options to use depending on the severity of the behavior issue," Rutherford County Schools spokesman James Evans said in an email. "Many principals have decided on their own to use other discipline options other than corporal punishment."


School District Standard Special Ed Total, 2011-12 Total, 2009-10
Davidson 0 0 0 0
Sumner 114 21 135 140
Rutherford 5 2 7 190
Wilson 2 0 2 15
Williamson 0 0 0 0
Cheatham 8 0 8 30
Dickson 8 6 14 40
Robertson 31 4 35 40
FSSD 0 0 0 0
Murfreesboro City 0 0 0 0

Source: U.S. Dept. of Education Civil Rights Data Collection, 2009-10, 2011-12

Corpun file 25635 at

The Citizen-Times, Asheville, North Carolina, 20 October 2014

Madison County schools end paddling

School officials say corporal punishment was rarely used

By Julie Ball


MARSHALL -- The Madison County school system is the latest to end the use of corporal punishment in schools.

The school board last month approved a policy on first reading that eliminates the use of padding, according to Ron Wilcox, superintendent of Madison County Schools.

"It's something very few school systems in the state are still doing, and we just discussed it, and at the end of our discussion we felt it was time that we changed our position on it, particularly since we weren't using it," Wilcox said.

Madison County used corporal punishment just five times last year, according to Tom Vitaglione, senior fellow with NC Child, which has been pushing to end corporal punishment in North Carolina schools.

Under Madison County Schools' old policy, only a school administrator could paddle a child. Corporal punishment was used rarely and only as a last resort, school officials have said.

Wilcox said one of the reasons for ending the practice was that "very few people were using it at all."

School officials involved principals before making the decision, "and they were all in favor of it," he said.

Earlier this year, McDowell County Schools also decided to stop using corporal punishment.

Vitaglione said just a handful of school systems in North Carolina still use it. Three of those -- Swain, Macon and Graham -- are in Western North Carolina.

Vitaglione said Swain County schools used corporal punishment five times last year. Macon and Graham used it 27 times each, according to Vitaglione.

In 1985, the state began letting individual school systems determine whether to use corporal punishment. In 2008, 60 systems were still using it, but more and more have dropped it. Many systems have moved to Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports or PBIS to manage student behavior.

Corpun file 25653 at

Victoria Advocate, Texas, 20 October 2014

Paddling can be effective in certain circumstances

By Carolina Astrain


Paddling in public schools should continue to be allowed but should only be administered in extreme circumstances, said Yoakum resident Dan Price.

"When I was in school, punishment ranged from simple paddling to absolute total abuse," Price, 77, said. "I understand the need for corporal punishment to keep certain people in line."

Through conversations he's had with his daughter, a former elementary school teacher, Price said he's heard of instances where corporal punishment was warranted.

"My daughter has a master's degree and has taught for the last 10 years in that environment," Price said. "She picked up and moved to Florida and is now doing counseling with students after becoming flustered by her inability to control the environment."

Former Victoria school district teacher, and mother of one, Katie Dalton said every attempt to use other disciplinary measures should be made before a student is paddled.

"I've seen the kids' faces after they get paddled and it's obvious they don't like it," Dalton said. "You need to be sure you're doing things that will provide a longer shelf life for good behaviors."

The times Dalton said she witnessed paddling being administered, it was always used as a last resort and was highly effective.

"I personally wouldn't want the liability that comes with paddling a student because parents are so sue-happy now," Dalton said.

Victoria school board president Tami Keeling said she's in support of the strict parameters and guidelines of the district's policy.

In the Victoria school district, corporal punishment has to be administered by an employee who is the same sex as a student and by an instrument approved by the principal.

Parents also have the option to opt-out, Keeling said.

"We're leaving the choice up to parents to decide if they want their child paddled at school," Keeling said.

Victoria Superintendent Robert Jaklich said parents should not expect any surprises.

"We will work with the family of the student to ensure all is being done appropriately and ethically," Jaklich said.

There is no quicker way to get through to a child than corporal punishment, Dalton said.

"The problem with that is that parents who are disciplining their children at home typically are not always the ones that need the corporal punishment," Dalton said. "The children at school that are in most need of it are the ones with inconsistent behavioral plans at home and therefore are not going to benefit from it at school."

Overall, Dalton said she believes in corporal punishment but it has to be backed up at home by parents who truly believe their children need a consequence for their behavior.

If that does not happen, then "it's putting a Band-Aid on a much bigger problem," the former teacher said.

© Victoria Advocate Publishing Co., All Rights Reserved.

Corpun file 25654 at

Victoria Advocate, Texas, 20 October 2014

Should corporal punishment be administered in public schools?

By Carolina Astrain

Press cutting


Student Discipline, Including Corporal Punishment

Defines corporal punishment. Provides that if a district board of trustees adopts a policy permitting corporal punishment, a district educator may use corporal punishment as a form of discipline unless the student's parent has previously provided a written, signed statement prohibiting the use of corporal punishment. Provides a parent would need to provide such statement on an annual basis. Permits a parent to revoke such statement at any time during the school year.

Defines "law enforcement duties." Requires school districts to electronically report to the Texas Education Agency on the use of restraint by a peace officer performing law enforcement duties on school property or during a school-sponsored or school-related activity.

Clarifies that the provision that a person commits an offense if, on school property or within 500-feet of school property, she/he intentionally disrupts the conduct of classes or other school activities, does not apply to a student in sixth grade or lower. Clarifies that the offense of disruption of transportation applies only if the offense occurred on a vehicle owned or operated by a county or independent school district. Provides that the disruption of transportation offense does not apply to a student in sixth grade or lower.

Source: Texas H.B. 359

Texas is one of 19 states that allows corporal punishment to be administered in public schools.

While most districts in major cities in the state -- like Houston, San Antonio and Dallas -- don't allow paddling on campuses, smaller communities, similar to Victoria, do allow corporal punishment but also provide parents with the opportunity to opt out their children.

"It happens a lot less in high school than it does in other grade levels," said Trey Edwards, executive administrative assistant at the Victoria school district. "Paddling is done on a case-by-case basis and sometimes it's requested by the parent."

While campus administrators enjoy having more disciplinary options, there are students and parents who are opposed to the practice in public schools.

Victoria resident Melissa Trevino, mother of twins, said she is against corporal punishment in school.

"When I was in school, I went to private school in San Antonio and we had it and I did get in trouble once but my parents didn't allow it so I actually got suspended," Trevino said. "I'm not for it either. I feel like I'm the only one that should spank my children. Yes, they can be disciplined by other people, but don't put your hands on my kids."

© Victoria Advocate Publishing Co., All Rights Reserved.

Corpun file 25664 at

The News-Herald, Panama City, Florida, 28 October 2014

Board: No more spanking in schools

By Jennifer Harwood
News Herald Writer



PANAMA CITY -- The Bay District School Board voted to remove corporal punishment from the student discipline policy at a meeting Tuesday.

District attorney Franklin Harrison said the liability for the district is too great with so many parents now putting the spotlight on corporal punishment and calling it child abuse.

"There are other ways to discipline students at school without running the risk of liability and putting your employees in jeopardy," Harrison told the board.

Board Chairman Jerry Register maintained his position as a proponent of corporal punishment.

"I know there's a risk. I know that," Register said. "But coming as a former elementary administrator, there's a place for it in elementary school."

Register recalled spanking students on two separate occasions in the year before he retired in which he'd used a single swat to the behind as an effective form of punishment and motivator for better behavior.

"I know people are probably saying out there 'that's archaic,' but I'm sorry. There was a place for it," Register said.

Superintendent Bill Husfelt agreed with Register's take on corporal punishment.

"We've been told by the Department of Children (and Families) that if you leave a mark, they will do an investigation," Husfelt said. In turn, the school district is obliged to report parental punishment that leaves physical markings.

Register said years ago if anyone had been reported for leaving physical evidence of discipline, the accused would go on a list with the department and be on it for a number of years. Now suspected abusers stay on the list indefinitely.

The board decided the old policy that allowed corporal punishment with a parent's consent was still too much of a gamble, so board members moved -- with the exception of Register -- to strike corporal punishment from the student discipline policy.

Board members also voted to adopt federal language adding more definition to the district's hazing policy and guidelines for student participation in clubs and organizations.


Copyright © Halifax Media Group

Corpun file 25817 at

ABC News logo (KLTV-TV), Tyler/Longview/Jacksonville, Texas, 29 October 2014

Spanking in school: Southern states top the list

By Charisse Gibson


statistics paddle

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -- Corporal punishment in schools is on the decline, but southern states that allow the disciplinary practice top the list of those who use it the most.

While 30 states have abolished the use of corporal punishment in schools, the other 20 states still allow the sometimes painful punishment. Most of them are in the South.

The South is known for its desire to 'keep things the same.' Preserving culture has always been a trend for most southerners, may it be a culture of cooking family dinners, going to church on an early Sunday morning or the way we discipline our children when they act out.

While some use a method of "time out" or "taking the electronics away," others turn straight to 'the rod.'

For some, the rod is a tree branch, belt, shoe, or as Ursula Gipson says, "Anything you can get your hands on."

This 'tradition' also carries on in schools across the Southern states.

When it comes to her 12-year-old son, Gipson agrees that it takes a village to raise a child. When it comes to disciplinary actions, though, she says it's hands-off for school administrators.

"I do not think it should be done in schools. There is such a fine line when a child is punished at home. Parents can be punished themselves for spanking their child. If there are bruises at all on the kid, the police may come and take you away for disciplining your own child, so I don't think a complete stranger should have the right to do that," says Gipson.

According to the Center For Effective Discipline, exactly 1,521,896 students were paddled in public schools in 1976. That number dwindled down to 223,190 in the 2005-2006 school year.

Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas hold some of the highest numbers of corporal punishment in schools, with Texas taking home the largest in 2006 with close to 50,000 paddlings.

Like most school districts, parents can opt out of corporal punishment on their child.


School board guidelines for corporal punishment in Caddo Parish say it must be done with a 24" by 5", 3/8-inch-thick paddle. The student can only be hit three times on the buttocks and take into consideration the child's age, size and emotional condition.

Texarkana ISD Superintendent Paul Norton says the "ways of the wood" are alive and well in his state. "I think in a state like Texas, you're always going to have it on the books as an option. I don't know if it is going to completely go away," says Norton. "Southern states tend to be more traditional than other states."

It's that same tradition that could be the reason Caddo and Bossier parishes continue to allow corporal punishment.

So far in 2014, Bossier Parish has on record over 20 instances where corporal punishment was used, but Jackie Lansdale with Red River United says the power lies with the parent. "I've been doing this job for a long time, I've yet to hear a parent at the school board speaking on the subject of corporal punishment."


Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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