|www.corpun.com : Archive : 2002 : US Schools Feb 2002|
School CP - February 2002
The Forum, Fargo, N. Dakota, 12 February 2002
Moorhead board broadens corporal punishment policyBy Cole Short
The Moorhead [Minnesota] School Board approved a new policy Monday banning corporal punishment in the classroom.
The policy prohibits teachers and staff from hitting or spanking students or using physical force to cause them emotional or bodily harm.
Superintendent Larry Nybladh said the policy broadens Moorhead's stance on corporal punishment referenced in the district's student and faculty handbooks.
"The policy attempts to place parameters on student and faculty behavior in relation to this issue," Nybladh said.
"It's a tool to educate students and employees on what is appropriate in the classroom," he said.
The corporal punishment policy does make exceptions for district employees who use "reasonable force" to restrain students from injuring themselves or others.
Employees who violate the policy will be subject to disciplinary action.
The Nashville Tennessean, 12 February 2002
Metro school board to abolish spanking officiallyBy Diane Long
At tonight's meeting, the Metro [Nashville] school board will take the last step to banish corporal punishment from the system's 128 schools, setting the stage for the no-paddle policy to take effect next week.
Board members will vote on a repeal of the previous rules on the books, which set the guidelines for when and how the punishment could be carried out. It's expected to be a rubber-stamp action because the board voted unanimously last month to abolish paddling.
"Principals and teachers have always tried to discipline children in ways other than corporal punishment," said Aldorothy Wright, assistant superintendent for student services.
While some are concerned the school system doesn't have anything to replace paddling, Wright says the system is ready for the change. Many schools and teachers have already been trained to use other disciplinary measures, including crisis intervention and conflict resolution, she said.
"At that point, we had no idea this was coming down the pike except that we knew that teachers needed some additional skills and techniques and strategies to deal with behavior," Wright said.
The policy will take effect next Tuesday because students are out of school the day before, a training day when teachers can choose to attend an optional session on classroom management that stresses appropriate instruction.
"There is a well-established link between effective instruction and classroom behavior," said Linda DePriest, a special education coordinator who is helping to set up the workshop. "That is some of the emphasis we're trying to get across - when kids are actively engaged in meaningful tasks, that will minimize some of the inappropriate behavior."
But Harry McMackin, president of the Metropolitan Nashville Education Association, isn't sure such workshops are enough to ensure discipline in schools.
"I think the vast majority of teachers are OK with abolishing corporal punishment," McMackin said. "But our worst fear at MNEA appears to be coming true, that corporal punishment will be taken away and nothing put in its place. I have seen nothing but ... a feeble effort to have one in-service."
The switch won't be a problem for the staff at Goodlettsville Middle School, which banned paddling after new Principal Mary Singleton took over this year.
"We met over the summer and determined exactly what our discipline policy would be," Singleton said, adding that the school's number of suspensions is also down by about half. "Frankly, it's worked beautifully."
If students persist in breaking the rules, they are usually placed in a strict in-school suspension class (ISS) where they complete their regular assignments, as well as writing an essay on their behavior.
"They have to explain in that citizenship paper what they did wrong that got them placed in ISS and how they're going to handle a similar situation differently in the future to avoid a return trip to ISS," Singleton said.
© Copyright 2002 The Tennessean
Casper Star-Tribune, Casper, Wyoming, 16 February 2002
Legislative bills at a glance
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A look at some of the bills in the 2002 legislative session. Most bills require a two-thirds majority to be introduced.
HB137-Repeals corporal punishment in schools. Failed introduction 32 yes-28 no.
Decatur Daily, Decatur, Alabama, 26 February 2002
Lawrence fires bus driver
Spanking passengers seen as violation
By Clyde L. Stancil
MOULTON -- An East Lawrence school bus driver who parents say spanked two of his passengers has lost his job.
The Lawrence County school board met for 2½ hours in a hearing and closed session Monday, and then emerged and voted 4-1 to fire Dewayne Kitchens.
Kitchens, 60, of 870 Lawrence County 370 declined to comment on the board's decision. His attorney, Brian Oakes of Decatur, also declined to comment and ushered him out of the central office after the meeting.
Wendell Logan, the board member who represents East Lawrence, voted against Superintendent Dexter Rutherford's recommendation to fire Kitchens. Logan declined to comment on why he voted that way.
Rutherford placed Kitchens on paid leave Jan. 22 after a parent complained that Kitchens spanked his son on the way home from school. The complaint led board members to give Kitchens a notice of their intent to terminate him. They gave him 15 days to appeal.
The appeal took place Monday. After the hearing, Kitchens did not give notice of appeal. But Lawrence County Board of Education attorney H. Jerome Thompson said he has 15 days to appeal to a three-member panel.
Rutherford said he recommended termination because Kitchens violated the school system's student discipline policy regarding corporal punishment.
The policy says that a principal may administer corporal punishment, or a teacher may do it in the presence of another professional employee. Bus drivers are defined as support personnel, not professionals. Kitchens also did not have a witness.
www.corpun.com Main menu page
© Colin Farrell 2002
Page updated: June 2002