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School CP - March 2016

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Citizen-Times, Asheville, North Carolina, 4 March 2016

Paddling in NC schools up despite more bans

Corporal punishment in North Carolina public schools jumped after years of declines even as fewer school districts allow paddling.

Staff and wire reports


An annual report released Thursday says there were 147 uses of corporal punishment statewide during the 2014-15 school year, up 20 percent over the previous year. That's despite around 100 of the state's 115 school districts forbidding paddling. Corporal punishment was used 890 times statewide four years ago.

Sixty percent of the paddling took place in Robeson County schools, while another 32 percent of cases were in Graham County near the Cherokee Indian reservation.

More than half of the students physically disciplined by school officials were American Indian. Native American children make up about 1 percent of the state's 1.4 million public school students.

According to the state report, in 2014-15, Graham County Schools used corporal punishment 47 times. Macon County used it 11 times, and Swain County once.

Swain County school officials announced last year that the district was dropping the use of corporal punishment.

Graham County Superintendent Angela Knight said her district uses corporal punishment only at the high school level.

"At the high school it is a last resort," Knight said. "It is something that a student would choose. Their parent agrees to it. There is a witness always, and it's only an option for one time."

She said some students choose paddling because they don't want to miss class time due to a suspension.

Knight said if the state decides to ban corporal punishment "it wouldn't be a major deal for us not to do it."

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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