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Bogalusa Daily News, Washington Parish, Louisiana, 20 November 2000
FHS principal says student chose paddle, but parents press charges
By Andi Cook
FRANKLINTON - The parents of a Franklinton High School student filed a formal complaint with Justice of the Peace Jackie Varnado Friday, alleging FHS Principal Beverly Young committed aggravated battery on their child.
By definition in the Louisiana criminal code, aggravated battery is "intentional use of force or violence upon the person of another . . . with a dangerous weapon."
After the complaint, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Young. When told a warrant had been issued for her arrest, Young turned herself in to the FPD on Friday. She was booked and charged with aggravated battery. She paid the necessary bond and was released pending a hearing.
Young indicated the alleged battery was a paddling which falls within corporal punishment guidelines allowed under the Parish discipline policy. Apparently, the "weapon" used by Young was a paddle. She made the following statement concerning the incident.
"Thursday, November 16, 2000, it was raining and tensions were high. At 1:10 the bell rang to change to fourth block class. I was in my office with a student and heard a loud commotion in the halls. I went to see what was happening and saw that a number of our athletes were hooping and chanting and other students were joining the disturbance.
As I was telling the students to disburse and report to class, the crowd got larger and the situation became extremely volatile.
I knew if the crowd of approximately 200 at the time did not disperse, we could have a riot with the least little push or shove of any student. The glass show case, trophy case, and windows could present a serious danger. There was no police officer on campus.
I was unable to get through the students, so I went to the intercom and rang a series of bells and announced for teachers to report to the halls and for students to report immediately to their classes. Many teachers became concerned over the number of students in the hallways, and came to the foyer area.
They witnessed the large number who had congregated in the area surrounded by the glass display cases.
I returned to the hall area and students were beginning to move.
Approximately 1:18, I went back to the intercom and announced that a tardy bell would be ringing and students should be in their fourth block class.
I told the teachers if the students were late to class to send them to the office for a paddling or Saturday detention.
Many students came. I secured a faculty witness and informed the students that they had a choice of one lick with the paddle or a Saturday detention.
All that remained in the office area chose a paddling of one lick. Two students said they could not be paddled, and I told them to go into the front office.
They were not paddled.
Thursday after school, a parent came to the school to meet with me.
I was attending a School-To-Work meeting at Franklinton Junior High School. The parent spoke with the assistant principal and stated that she was going out of town and would contact me when she returned. I have attempted twice to contact the parent without success.
Friday morning, Superintendent Dennie Fowler told me a parent had come to his office, voicing a complaint about her child receiving a paddling. Mr. Fowler told the parent that Parish policy allows corporal punishment.
The parent went to Justice of the Peace, Jackie Varnado, who then issued a warrant. Mr. Varnado did not call to learn any of the details of the situation.
As Administrator of Franklinton High School, which has an enrollment of over 650 students, it is my responsibility to maintain a safe atmosphere, and to take whatever action necessary to maintain a secure environment for all our students.
Since my tenure as principal here, this incident had the greatest potential of escalating into a dangerous situation for a large number of students. Incidents of this nature are rare at Franklinton High School.
We are fortunate to have such a good student body and a strong faculty and staff, as well as positive support throughout our community."
Copyright © 2000 Wick Communications, Inc.
The Daily Record, Dunn, N. Carolina, 20 November 2001
Would Like To Know
I would like to know how Harnett Central Middle School makes the decision to suspend some students for fighting and they do not suspend others and give them two swats instead. The excuse that some parents care about their children and that's the reason they were not suspended is a joke. Does this mean now if other children get into a fight at school they will not be suspended? What about the children who have been suspended this year? Parents need to make a stand. There is too much discrimination between the way students are treated at Harnett Central Middle School. Aren't there guidelines in place that pertain to everyone, not just a few.
Harnett Central Middle School Assistant Principal Willard "Mac" McCaskill said state law No. 94142 prevents him from releasing information about a student's suspension to other parents; therefore, he said he had no comment.
To The Fullest
I feel that the students who sprayed graffiti on the walks at Triton High School should be punished to the fullest. No matter who they were, no matter who their parents are.
According to Dan Honeycutt, principal at Triton High School, he said, "The graffiti was on the pavement in the parking lot. And those responsible have been dealt with accordingly."
The Daily Record, Dunn, NC, 24 November 2000
I'm calling ... about the paddling in Plain View School. I have a granddaughter in Plain View and I don't know exactly what her parents agreed to, but ... I think Mr. Lee ... has no right to paddle a child until there are welt marks.
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