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School CP - October 2018

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The Rogersville Review, Tennessee, 10 October 2018

BOE votes to ban corporal punishment in schools


By Bill Jones
Staff Writer

ROGERSVILLE -- The Hawkins Co. Board of Education, during its Thursday, Oct. 4, meeting, voted to adopt a new policy that bans corporal punishment (spanking) in county schools.

The board's action came after it heard a report by Beth Holt about the issue. The BOE had tabled the proposed policy during its September meeting and asked that principals be surveyed to determine if there is a consensus of opinion among them concerning the effectiveness of corporal punishment.

During her Thursday evening report to the BOE, Holt said she had heard from all 18 school principals, plus the Pathways Alternative School. In essence, she said, none of the principals said corporal punishment is currently being used at their schools.

Some corporal punishment survey respondents indicated that they didn't think it was effective, while others thought it could be effective for certain students, she indicated to the BOE. But no principals said they were going to use it.

"I never heard anyone say 'I'm going to do it (use corporal punishment)'," Holt told the BOE.

She also noted that there could be legal consequences for school staff in the event they do use corporal punishment on students whose parents subsequently object. In addition, Holt said, that while opinion is divided on the issue, "most principals said they didn't feel comfortable doing it" (using corporal punishment).

BOE Chairman Bob Larkins said the board recognizes that classroom discipline is essential, but noted that many authorities indicate that corporal punishment is ineffective. The question before the board, he said, was whether corporal punishment should remain in school system policy even though it apparently is not being used by principals and teachers.

BOE member Holly Helton then made a motion that the board adopt proposed new policy 6.314.

"Are we just going to ban corporal punishment?" Chairman Larkins asked.

"I think banning it is in the best interest (of everyone)," Vice Chairman Debbie Shedden said.

When BOE member Kathy Cradic asked for clarification as to exactly what the motion before the BOE entailed, Helton read aloud the statement that reads, 'corporal punishment shall not be used in any school'.

BOE members Jackie Charles, Helton, Shedden, Larkins and Cradic all voted in favor of adopting the new policy.

As a result of the vote, the Hawkins Co. School System has joined nine other area systems that do not use corporal punishment.

Six other area systems, including the Greene and Washington County systems, do allow corporal punishment to be used.

© Copyright 2019 The Rogersville

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WUNC-FM (North Carolina Public Radio), Chapel Hill, NC, 18 October 2018

Graham County Schools End Corporal Punishment

By Will Michaels

A wooden paddle
The paddle Robbinsville High School principals have used to discipline students.
Credit Jess Clark / WUNC

The last school district that practiced corporal punishment in North Carolina has voted to ban it.

Board members voted unanimously to end paddling on October 2, the day of their most recent meeting, according to Graham County Schools Superintendent Angie Knight. The move effectively bans the practice across the state.

"Corporal punishment will no longer be a disciplinary action in Graham County Schools," Knight said in an email.

Graham County Schools was the only district left that still allowed paddling, after the board in Robeson County voted to end it in April. Graham County used corporal punishment 34 times in the 2016-2017 school year.

State law allows paddling in public schools, defining it as "the intentional infliction of physical pain upon the body of a student as a disciplinary measure," but leaves the decision about whether or not to use it to local school boards.

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