Corpun file 16773 at www.corpun.com
Nevada County Picayune, Prescott, Arkansas, 5 October 2005
Odom recognized for service on Board
By John Miller
Prescott's School Board kicked off its September meeting by recognizing former member George Odom.
A discipline report was presented to the Board, showing 66 infractions since school started on Aug. 19.
Of those, 34 were in school suspensions, three were out of school suspensions, five students received corporal punishment, four were punished for other reasons, one received a bus suspension and one had a counselor conference. In addition, there were seven sent to detention, four parent conferences held and seven verbal warnings given.
The reasons for ISS included 10 classroom disruptions, one bus conduct infraction, six tardies, five dress code violations, four insubordinations, seven truancies and one for profanity.
© 2001-2005 Better Built Group, Inc.
Corpun file 16804 at www.corpun.com
Itawamba County Times, Fulton, Mississippi, 5 October 2005
School board takes action
Hundreds of parents in Itawamba County have in the past signed forms stating their child would not receive corporal punishment, or be paddled, by a member of the county school system. At Monday's board meeting, school officials discussed changing the board policy to revoke all forms of this type. All members were in favor of leaving the decision of paddling a child up to the principal and if a child refused a paddling to let the principal take the appropriate action. The board will make its policy change at the next regular meeting.
Corpun file 16779 at www.corpun.com
Jackson Sun, Tennessee, 7 October 2005
Paddling incident brings police investigation to Medina school
By Tonya Smith-King
Within the next 30 to 60 days, Medina police expect to release findings of a probe into a complaint accusing a middle school principal of "excessive force" in paddling a child, an officer said Thursday.
The child's mother filed the complaint in late September against Medina Middle School Principal Chad Jackson, Lt. David Paschall said. No charges have been filed.
Jackson paddled the 10-year-old fifth-grade boy over a fight he had with another student, Paschall said. The other student also was paddled, he added, but did not file a complaint.
Excessive force involves "bruising or an actual injury," Paschall said. He would not comment on the mother's specific claims of the nature of the excessive force used because the child is a minor.
As is protocol, Paschall notified the Department of Children's Services, which sent a special investigator the next day, Paschall said.
Corporal punishment at all Gibson County Special School District schools has been suspended during the investigation, said Superintendent Robert Galloway.
"We are obviously aware of the claims and take them very seriously," Galloway said. "We have been and are presently cooperating with agencies that are investigating these claims.
Neither Jackson nor the child's parents could be reached for comment.
Parents get an opportunity at the start of school to opt out of corporal punishment by signing a form sent home with their children, Paschall said.
"When they don't sign these forms, that lets the school know they don't mind their child being paddled as a last resort," Paschall said.
The boy's parents had not signed a form, Paschall said.
Follow-up: 4 December 2005 - Discipline or abuse?
Corpun file 16782 at www.corpun.com
The Patriot-News, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 7 October 2005
Board approves ban on spanking
By Jan Murphy
Of The Patriot-News
Despite what Bart Simpson might say, repetitive writing of sentences on the blackboard -- as seen at the beginning of every episode of "The Simpsons" -- is not corporal punishment. Neither is running an extra lap around the track or standing in a corner.
But swatting a kid's bottom is, and that form of discipline is on its way to being outlawed in Pennsylvania public schools.
The Independent Regulatory Review Commission yesterday voted 5-0 to add Pennsylvania to the list of 28 other states that ban corporal punishment in public schools.
The regulations don't take effect until they are published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, which State Board of Education executive director Jim Buckheit said could happen by the end of next month.
The Bulletin is the state's official publication for information and new regulations.
State Board of Education member Edith Isacke, who led the campaign for the corporal punishment ban, was pleased by the commission's unanimous vote.
The Legislature still could block the ban from taking effect, and Isacke said, "I won't breathe of [sic] sigh of relief until they are published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin."
The commission-approved regulations bar educators from using physical discipline that causes pain and fear, but would permit school officials to defend themselves.
At present, only 18 districts -- none in the midstate -- in Pennsylvania use corporal punishment, Isacke said.
The House Education Committee last week urged the regulatory review commission to disapprove the regulations. Legislators argued that removing this classroom-management option would tie teachers' hands.
But Carol Karl of the Pennsylvania State Education Association told the commission yesterday that teachers don't want that tool.
School psychologists warn against using corporal punishment, and school nurses say it violates their responsibility to care for children, she said. And the education association's lawyers "believe that there's a legal vulnerability for both the teacher ... and the school if they participate in striking the student in school," Karl said.
Despite questions raised by the House Education Committee and the Pennsylvania School Boards Association about whether the State Board has the authority to impose such a ban, the commission's counsel, Mary Wyatte, said she believed it did.
So did Millersville University's psychology department chair Helena Tuleya-Payne, speaking for the Pennsylvania Psychologists Association.
"The provision in the special-education regulations did and will do more to reduce corporal punishment in the schools than anything that IRRC does today," she said.
"As you know, some children in special education have behavior problems that are very difficult to manage. However, they can be managed and indeed thrive in school without corporal punishment. So can students in regular education."
© 2005 The Patriot-News © 2005 PennLive.com All Rights Reserved.
Follow-up: 4 December 2005 - New regulations bar use of spanking in schools
Corpun file 16785 at www.corpun.com
WRAL.com (WRAL-TV), Raleigh, North Carolina, 10 October 2005
Corporal Punishment In Public Schools
Paddled Student's Mother Wants Corporal Punishment In Schools Banned
Reporter: Jason Stoogenke
ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. -- A Robeson County teacher will not face charges for paddling a seventh-grade student after prosecutors concluded the instructor did nothing wrong. The student's mother, as well as others, disagrees.
"When I got home, he was standing on the porch, he had his pants down, and I was like, 'Oh, my God,'" the student's mother, Tina Morgan, said.
Morgan's son, according to officials, was acting up in the hallway at Rowland Middle School when the teacher paddled him.
Morgan has photos of the child's bruises that show his backside purple, blue and black. She also has photos of the paddles with phrases, such as "R U Next?" and "The 'Tude' Adjuster" written on them.
"When you walk [up] and you see a child that's bruised like that, you don't know how to act," Morgan said. "But that day, I was angry."
Robeson County's board of education defends the teacher. School officials told WRAL that corporal punishment is allowed in Robeson County as long as teachers follow certain guidelines. Officials say the teacher in this case did follow them. Prosecutors agreed and did not file charges.
Morgan, however, wants the rules changed. She is not alone.
Peggy Dean, a nurse near Charlotte, is leading the charge to ban corporal punishment in North Carolina schools.
"It is absolutely inexcusable," said Dean, who works with Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education. "If an adult did this to another adult, then the adult would be in jail. If I did this to my dog, then I could be in jail."
Dean said she sees Jones' case as a clear example.
She and Morgan planned to address the Robeson County school board to ask that the school system's corporal punishment policy be changed.
Currently, corporal punishment of any type is banned in 27 states across the nation and legislation banning it is proposed in several others.
In North Carolina, more than half of the state's students are in school districts where the practice is forbidden, including Wake, Durham and Orange county school systems. Thirteen other states, mostly in the South, have no restrictions on corporal punishment.
This past spring, state lawmakers filed a bill to study corporal punishment, but it never made it out of the House of Representatives.
Copyright 2005 by WRAL.com. All rights reserved.
Corpun file 16793 at www.corpun.com
The Robesonian, Lumberton, North Carolina, 12 October 2005
Board scolded on spanking
By Mark Locklear
LUMBERTON - Advocates for a national organization opposed to corporal punishment told the school board Monday night that spanking is ineffective and dangerous and should be banned from the Public Schools of Robeson County.
Peggy Dean of Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education told the school board that the county ranks second in the state for the number of "hits," according to a civil rights study.
Dean said teachers lack training to administer paddling, which she called outdated, ineffective and dangerous. She held up a large photograph of the buttocks of Rowland Middle School student who was paddled on Sept. 12. The boy's buttocks appeared bruised and swollen.
"I have never seen such an atrocity," Dean said. "I am not here to chastise you all as a county. I am here to ask for you all to make this a learning experience. There are so many alternatives than hitting a child."
Tina Morgan said her 12-year-old son was hit five times with a wood paddle after he and another student were caught "cutting up." School officials said the teacher, Anthony Britt, followed protocol.
District Attorney Johnson Britt elected not to file criminal charges. Corporal punishment is permitted by the school system, but only with permission of parents or a guardian who sign a consent form before the school year.
School board member Severeo Kerns said Dean was exploiting the incident.
"It makes it sound like we are the only county in North Carolina doing this ... and this is happening in every one of our schools," Kerns said. "I don't think it is."
Dean, who is from Charlotte, said the school system is in violation of a state law that requires systems to list violations that would warrant corporal punishment. She said Robeson County's policy is arbitrary and said there were other punishment options to use on Morgan's child.
Kerns said behavior problems have grown inside the schools because of a lack of discipline.
"I don't believe in excessive corporal punishment, but I experienced corporal punishment growing up and I think I turned out pretty good," Kerns said. "When I was in school 30 years ago, they used a leather strap."
Board member Terry Smith said corporal punishment isn't used as often as when he was in school.
"The only difference is when I got it at school, I got it at home, too," Smith said. "In today's times, that doesn't happen."
Board member Stephen Stone said he used corporal punishment during the 12 years he was a principal, but that he had never seen bruising like was depicted in the photograph.
"Regardless of how offensive this is, it's still not right for any child to have these kinds of marks on them," said board member John Campbell. "We cannot ignore this."
Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education has asked state Rep. Doug Yongue to introduce a bill that would ban corporal punishment in North Carolina. Twenty-seven states have already done so.
Morgan was upset after the meeting, saying she didn't care for the response she got from the board.
"If that was their child, would they still try to say that it is OK to bruise a child?" Morgan said in tears. "They are blowing it off as if nothing happened."
Morgan has hired a lawyer.
Tom Johnson, a member of organization's board of directors, drove from Nashville, Tenn., to tell the board about social problems that he says come with spanking.
"What's hard to understand is why teachers are getting away with doing this to kids while a parent, who did the same, would have the cops and Social Services all over them," he said.
Some board members expressed concerns that details of the presentation weren't disclosed beforehand, including the photograph that was distributed.
"I am not sure if the pictures were appropriate," said Chairman Mike Smith. "She could have spoke [sic] in two weeks during the public comment but we shouldn't be ashamed of information. If we can all learn from the experience, that's what it's all about."
Copyright © 2005 The Robesonian
Follow-up: 14 October 2005 - Robeson schools punishment policy put on hold
Corpun file 16802 at www.corpun.com
Baker County Standard, Macclenny, Florida, 13 October 2005
School system studies discipline
The Baker County school system periodically reviews all of its policies and recently commissioned an evaluation of the districts discipline policies and practices. Independent educational consultant Jonathan C. McIntire has submitted his study and recommendations to the school board. He has previously done similar evaluations for other districts.
"It was time for us to take a look at it. He made some suggestions that we will be looking into. A few have already been implemented at the high school and the middle school," said School Superintendent Paula Barton.
McIntire also recommended in his report that Baker County cease using corporal punishment as an alternative, "though clearly accepted by a majority of the community, educators and students."
Barton responded to the recommendations, "We expect a high level of proper behavior from our students. Misbehavior takes away the opportunity for other students to learn,"she said.
How to provide a positive learning environment while maintaining discipline is always a dilemma and teachers can not effectively teach in a class that is distracted by a misbehaving student, according to Barton. She added that the expulsion rate for the county schools had actually decreased last year, when compared to previous years. One of the root causes of the inflated suspension rate is that while students are awaiting expulsion, they are placed on school suspension. The process time for expulsions can often take up to twenty days.
The superintendent concluded her remarks by saying, "I will tell you that as long as I sit in this chair, corporal punishment will be part of the discipline program in Baker County. Parents of this county have consistently supported us and this school board has always supported zero tolerance when it comes to discipline."
Corpun file 16803 at www.corpun.com
Fayetteville Observer, North Carolina, 14 October 2005
Robeson schools punishment policy put on hold
By Venita Jenkins
LUMBERTON - Robeson County school officials Thursday issued a moratorium on the use of corporal punishment.
School officials plan to review the system's policy and determine whether they want to continue with corporal punishment, school board Chairman Mike Smith said. No date has been set to lift the moratorium.
Robeson is one of four systems in the Cape Fear region that allow corporal punishment under strict guidelines at elementary and middle schools. The others are in Bladen, Hoke and Harnett counties.
Six schools systems in the region prohibit it.
The issue has received attention in recent weeks after a paddling incident in Robeson County. A seventh-grader had bruises on his buttocks after being paddled. The boy's mother questioned whether the teacher used excessive force to discipline her son Sept. 12.
The Sheriff's Office Juvenile Division investigated. District Attorney Johnson Britt decided not to pursue charges against the teacher because corporal punishment was not used to intentionally hurt.
A national organization against corporal punishment in public schools on Monday asked the Robeson County school board to consider alternatives to discipline students. Members of the organization, Parents and Teachers Against Violence In Education, said the method is dangerous.
Smith said the board policy is clear on how corporal punishment should be administered.
"The problem is when the policy is not being followed," he said.
Superintendent Colin Armstrong, who issued the moratorium, said he is divided on the issue. He is against corporal punishment.
"My position is an awkward position," Armstrong said. "As a superintendent, my job is to implement board policy. And this board has corporal punishment as part of its policy. I do think there is significant risk when you use corporal punishment. I pointed that out to the staff and first-year teachers. I tell them: 'Number one, you might get charged. Number two, you might get sued. Do you want to run that risk?"'
Several school systems in the Cape Fear region allow corporal punishment as a form of discipline. However, many systems have prohibited corporal punishment and have sought alternative methods of disciplining students.
Robeson County officials issued a moratorium on corporal punishment on Thursday.
Risk of lawsuits
More schools systems in the region are putting away the paddle because of the potential for lawsuits.
Cumberland County schools revised its policy in 1997 because there was a general feeling that corporal punishment was no longer an acceptable form of discipline, school leaders say.
"I think we, those of us who were on the board at the time, felt like it was an out-of-date form of dealing with children in schools," board member Larry Lancaster said. "Although the state gave us that authority, we felt that we could find other means to discipline children. We found other
ways that were more meaningful and effective than having someone bend over a chair."
Harnett school officials are debating whether they should change to alternative methods. Harnett Superintendent Dan Honeycutt said he wants his board to reconsider its policy.
"The board has chosen to leave it in there to give the teachers and principals the option," Honeycutt said. "Very few, if any, use it. I will ask the board to look at whether we should continue to have it. Because of the attention that it tends to get locally and nationally, our principals are very reluctant to use it. It would be my preference that we do not have it because of the potential problems that it may cause."
Some school leaders say there are parents who support corporal punishment and see it as a way to deter bad behavior. The mother of the Robeson County student had given school officials permission to use it.
"I have had parents tell me that if the child knows that he could be spanked in school it keeps them from misbehaving," said Bruce Dickerson, a Bladen County school board member. "I know some people feel that children should not be physically disciplined. If the parent feels that the child may need corporal punishment and they submit to the school that it may be an option, I am fine with it as long as it is handled correctly. If it ever becomes a problem, we would have to look at it different."
Corporal punishment is an issue that tends to surface among educators, said Eddie Davis, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators. The association grappled with the issue 10 years ago, he said.
"Corporal punishment may not be outdated, but it is certainly out of style," Davis said. "I think, personally, school systems would be on safer ground not to administer corporal punishment. There are too many variables that could come into play."
Zoe Locklear has advised her students not to use corporal punishment to discipline children. Locklear is the dean of the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and a former associate superintendent for leadership development and special services for the state Department of Public Instruction.
"In the era that we live in now, it is not acceptable to strike another person's child," she said. "Even if parents come in and sign the form or give teachers permission during a teacher conference, I would not advise it. If they do it, they need to make sure they are within the guidelines or they run the risk of getting into trouble with the parent, an advocate or an attorney."
Future teachers are being taught acceptable methods to handle discipline in the classroom, Locklear said.
"I don't think there are too many schools of education teaching how to properly paddle," she said. "… You can maintain discipline without hitting kids."
Parents and Teachers Against Violence In Education has approached state Rep. Doug Yongue about submitting a bill in the next legislative session to ban corporal punishment in all schools.
Yongue, who represents Robeson, Hoke and Scotland counties, said he is willing to meet with the group and representatives from the state Department of Public Instruction to discuss whether the law needs to be changed.
"I am concerned about the issue and together we can possibly come up with a solution," Yongue said. "I haven't seen all the data or know all their concerns. If there is a problem, we will certainly work on it."
Copyright 2004 The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer
Follow-up: 24 October 2005 - Sparing the rod
Corpun file 16853 at www.corpun.com
Tyler Morning Telegraph, Texas, 20 October 2005
Simmons advises on punishment revisions
The controversial issue of paddling or spanking students got another airing Thursday when Tyler Independent School District's superintendent made recommendations and school board members again voiced conflicting opinions.
It is headed toward a board vote in November after Superintendent Dr. David Simmons' presentation Thursday of proposed revisions in the corporal punishment section of board policy on discipline.
Board members complimented Simmons' attempt to tighten up the policy, saying he is headed in the right direction, but they remained divided on whether corporal punishment should be stopped or kept as a disciplinary option.
Vice President Kristen Baldwin said the proposed policy revision does not go far enough. She questioned whether benefits of swatting a child for discipline are worth keeping the option for corporal punishment and opposed allowing it.
Revisions in the policy proposed by Simmons would continue to allow corporal punishment, but reduce the number of people authorized to administer it.
Simmons also recommended the policy require parents to "opt in" to allow their child to be considered for corporal punishment; the existing policy requires parents to "opt out" if they do not want such punishment used.
Trustees suggested changes in the wording of the superintendent's proposed revisions to the corporal punishment policy. Simmons said the suggestions show the value of the board's practice of reading and discussing proposed policy at one meeting and voting at the next month's meeting.
The superintendent recommended that principals and directors still have the discretion to determine whether corporal punishment will be used on their campuses. That means the decision would be made on a campus-by-campus basis, as it is now, although it is allowed at the district level.
For campuses that use paddling, students' parents or legal guardians would be required to return a student enrollment and contact information form each year stating whether they want their child to be subject to corporal punishment.
That proposal, Simmons said, "would actually make parents opt in as opposed to opting out on whether they want their child to be considered for corporal punishment."
If principals decide to have corporal punishment at their school, the superintendent proposed reducing the number of individuals who have authority to administer it.
Simmons proposed the policy only authorize these personnel to give corporal punishment: a principal, assistant principal or instructional consultant at schools and the director or assistant director of the Plyler and PACE programs. Current policy also allows teachers to administer corporal punishment.
The superintendent's proposal would formally require the parent or legal guardian of a student to be contacted and approve the use of corporal punishment prior to each paddling. That has been a practice by most schools, but is not a requirement of the current policy, Simmons said.
Even though a parent or guardian may have "opted in" on forms at the beginning of the school year for corporal punishment for their child, family situations could have changed between the original opt-in period and the time an incident arises in which a school might consider paddling a child, Simmons said.
Trustee Orenthia Mason, a former principal, questioned the proposed policy that empowers the principal to approve the "instrument" used in administering corporal punishment. That should not be in the hands of the principal, but should be a district decision, she said. She recalled that the district used to specify the paddle used before Simmons became superintendent, and said there should be no variation in the paddle.
Trustee Therelee Washington, another former principal, said the district used to have guidelines for the thickness, width and length of the paddle, which was available from administrative offices. The paddle should be consistent all over the district, Washington said.
Simmons said he had heard there used to be paddle specifications at one time, but had been unable to locate them. However, he agreed to conduct further research and return to the board with changes in the wording of the proposed policy to incorporate the paddle specifications.
In the past, paddling was only allowed in the principal's office or assistant principal's office, Ms. Mason also remembered. She said the principal or assistant principal's office is the most appropriate place for such punishments to be administered.
Simmons' policy revision would stipulate that corporal punishment be administered out of view other students. Ms. Mason told the superintendent she would much rather have it require the punishment to take place in the principal's office and nowhere else. Ms. Baldwin noted that even if it were administered in private in a gymnasium, other students might hear. Simmons said he would change the wording of the policy.
Trustee Brad Spradlin said he felt district officials were headed in the right direction with the corporal punishment policy. Several principals he contacted reported that it is effective with the majority of students, and one principal said she uses it as a fear factor, Spradlin said.
Spradlin said he wants to give principals and campuses the flexibility and option to use corporal punishment, whether they actually use it or not. But Spradlin wanted the board to monitor its use on a semesterly or yearly basis to see how it is used, which campuses use it and whether it is effective, and to revisit the issue if it is proven not to be effective.
Washington said paddling does work with certain students. He described it as an alternative, and said that principals don't have to do it, but should have the option if they choose. "I support it," he added.
Trustee Ron Vickery said he was uncomfortable with the old policy's wording of the, [sic] particularly the "opt-out" section, but noted the revision would take care of his concerns by requiring parents to "opt in". He also favored district specifications on the type of paddle.
President Andy Bergfeld questioned whether children are better off with society "toning down" discipline and "counseling people to death." He expressed concern that parents may end up opting out of corporal punishment due to lack of response on returning the form and failure to read the paperwork.
Consequences of the proposed policy changes and continuing to allow corporal punishment, Ms. Baldwin said, would require paperwork, monitoring to make sure it is not done too forcefully, contacting parents and put the district and child in a libelous situation.
She asked fellow board members before voting on the policy revisions to remember that their responsibility is to every child and taxpayer.
© Tyler Morning Telegraph 2005
Follow-up: 17 November 2005 - Paddle policy splits TISD board vote
Corpun file 16864 at www.corpun.com
The Robesonian, Lumberton, North Carolina, 24 October 2005
Sparing the rod
By Mark Locklear and Jonathan Yeomans
LUMBERTON - There are those who can still remember when a teacher thought nothing of taking a leather strap to the behind of an incorrigible student.
But with the threat of jail time or a lawsuit, educators aren't as quick to raise the paddle today.
School board member Severeo Kerns says the hesitancy to paddle students makes it difficult to maintain discipline in schools today. But Kerns is in a dwindling minority.
Polls show most people are opposed to corporal punishment. Parents aren't keen on the idea of a stranger striking their child.
Some educators say the practice may even be ineffective. Associations that represent doctors and psychologists warn against it.
The Robeson County school system has issued a moratorium on corporal punishment until administrators meet with principals on Tuesday to clarify the policy. Paddling may also be part of the discussion at the board's meeting on Monday.
The issue was pushed to the forefront after a Rowland Middle School parent said a paddling last month left bruises on her son. She plans to sue. A similar claim was made at Southside-Ashpole Elementary School in September 2004.
Board member John Campbell said the Rowland Middle School incident should be the "wake-up call" that sparks a review of the board's policy on corporal punishment.
"Robeson County has dodged the bullet over the years ...," Campbell said. "It has been acceptable. Folks have used it to some degree of success. But on the flip side, we say we believe in non-violence and resolving conflict with an emphasis on mediation. There is just less tolerance now from parents, community and culture."
Seventy-five percent of the 600 adults surveyed in North Carolina said it was OK to spank a child, but 63 percent said a teacher shouldn't do the swatting, according to a survey sponsored by WBTV-TV Charlotte and WTVD-TV Raleigh. But a highly unscientific poll that is conducted on The Robeson's Web site, robesonian.com, suggested more tolerance locally. About 69 percent of 156 votes by Saturday morning had been cast by people were in favor of corporal punishment as an option in the schools.
More than half of the state's students are in school districts where the practice is forbidden, including the Wake, Durham and Orange county school systems.
Penny Arokiasamy, PTA president at Carroll Middle School, said if her child needs a spanking, she should be the one to do it.
"You never know how rough a teacher or a principal is going to be with a child or how a child is going to react," Arokiasamy said. "In this day and age a child, and as angry as some children are, could react violently if they are touched by another adult."
The loss of privileges, like field trips and snack time, and time-out can be used at the elementary level and suspensions can be used with older students, according to Arokiasamy.
Marcia Rauch, a first-grade teacher at Piney Grove Elementary, also believes other alternatives exist.
"When I came here I was surprised that it still happened, but I've seen it happen less and less," said Rauch, a Ohio native.
Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education said that Robeson schools ranked second in the state in the instances of corporal punishment for the 1999-2000 school year, when it was used 555 times. School officials say that the number of instances was down to 146 for the last school year. There was no information on where that would rank the county in the state.
Glenna Hicks, UniServe director, said the number of paddlings has dropped because educators are afraid of the consequences.
"I was brought up with people using corporal punishment and I used it myself," she said, "but now it's too dangerous for teachers or administrators to use it, because of things that are happening to teachers who do."
The district attorney reviewed the Rowland Middle School case and decided no laws were broken, but that case is headed for civil court.
Corporal punishment has become such a hot-button issue that many principals are reluctant to talk about it. Several who were contacted for this story refused to be interviewed.
The few who did comment said corporal punishment should only be used if other methods of discipline have failed.
"I haven't done it very often," Principal Walter Jackson of Townsend Middle said. "We use it as a last resort."
David Evans, principal of Littlefield Middle School in Lumberton, said he didn't use corporal punishment at home. "I have a 3-year-old at home, and I wouldn't want it done to him," he said.
Evans said he has told his teachers not to administer it.
"I tell them, if there is to be corporal punishment, let an administrator do it," he said. "I've told the teachers not to do it; there is an unacceptable liability."
Evans also questioned the punishment's effectiveness.
"Why spank a child when that's all they get at home?" he said. "The threat of a spanking may be enough for some. Others may be jaded to it."
Other principals say they do not have a problem with corporal punishment if administered within the board's guidelines.
"Before the punishment, there must be conferences with the parent and student making sure they are aware of all disciplinary actions taken to that point," said Joyce Canady, principal at Fairmont Middle.
Canady said in her five years as principal, she has paddled about 20 children.
An appropriate paddling, she said, should only sting the buttocks.
"Unless the child has a medical problem, a paddling should not leave any type of bruising," she said.
Follow-up: 28 October 2005 - Spanking ban lifted
Corpun file 16894 at www.corpun.com
KFOR.com (KFOR-TV, NBC), Oklahoma City, 24 October 2005
Corporal punishment used infrequently in state
TULSA, Okla. -- Oklahoma school administrators say that while corporal punishment remains legal in the state, they rarely reach for the paddle.
State Superintendent of Schools Sandy Garrett says she tried to end corporal punishment in the early 1990s. But the Legislature left the decision up to school districts.
The state Board of Education issued its resolution against it in 1992.
The state keeps no record of how many students receive swats each year or how many districts still use corporal punishment. But at least seven school districts in Tulsa County and a charter school sponsored by Tulsa Public Schools do.
The Sallisaw school district in Sequoyah County removed corporal punishment as a possible means of discipline from its student handbook this summer.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
All content © Copyright 2001 - 2005 WorldNow and KFOR-TV. All Rights Reserved.
Corpun file 16881 at www.corpun.com
The Lonoke Democrat, Arkansas, 26 October 2005
First school in Lonoke has 197 students in 1868
By Ed Galucki
Fires have taken a toll on Lonoke schools, Sharron Havens, Lonoke School District superintendent, on Sunday told a meeting of the Lonoke Historical Society. There were three schools built before the current high school building, and each burned, she said.
Havens compared the 1903 annual school report, by A.J. Meadors, with that she is prepared to make in November to the school board. "There are several things that are very similar," she remarked.
The total number of days for school in 1903 was 178, the same attended now, Havens said. Enrollment was 416 with an average attendance of 321, she read.
"He really gets on to people about attendance," Havens said of Meadors" report. "We have to do the same thing," she remarked.
Meadors mentioned discipline, that the rod should rarely be used, Havens said. But also that experience had taught that there are some who cannot be controlled by "milder means."
"We still use corporal punishment," Havens said. It is not considered as the first choice, but sometimes it is all that some understand, she said.
Meadors also wrote about relations with teachers, and that there were often points that had to be resolved. That still goes on today, she said.
Corpun file 16899 at www.corpun.com
Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio, 27 October 2005
New Orleans players receive warm welcome
CCC, Alliance among OHSAA schools to the rescue
By Gary Estwick
Beacon Journal sports writer
Ken Love/Akron Beacon Journal
Due to Hurricane Katrina, Samuel Duncan, 17, of New Orleans has relocated to the area and is a football player for Canton Central Catholic.
CANTON - Theron Andrews balls up his fists, then flexes his exposed forearms as if he's ready to throw a punch. He tries to ignore the cold rain and wind that have penetrated his shoulder pads and reached his T-shirt.
Andrews runs in place, pretending he's Canton Central Catholic's starting fullback, and he's blocking defenders. He moves closer to teammate Samuel Duncan, trying to absorb body heat as he waits for his chance to participate in football drills.
Nothing seems to work. He shivers.
Tricky winter weather is Lesson No. 1 that Andrews has learned since relocating last month from the New Orleans area.
"It wasn't that cold this morning," Andrews said as his teeth rattled.
He is one of 34 students displaced by Hurricane Katrina now playing sports in Ohio, according to the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
Andrews and Duncan are playing junior varsity football at Central Catholic.
Ian Peters, who attended Shaw High School in New Orleans, plays junior varsity football at Alliance.
They've all discovered that life is much different here. Peters lives with his family, which is from Alliance, but in Canton, Andrews' mother is the lone chaperone for five students from St. Augustine High School.
Central Catholic is a relaxed learning environment compared with St. Augustine, an all-male Catholic school in a predominantly African-American community. Until the school was destroyed by flood waters in late August, paddling was a familiar form of discipline.
Academics are different in Louisiana, so Duncan, a junior, is enrolled in Spanish I and chemistry, both freshman classes in Ohio. Andrews, a sophomore, is enrolled in two freshman-level classes, biology and Spanish I.
Even though St. Augustine football was one of the elite programs in New Orleans, just as many fans showed up on Friday nights to watch the band perform; some prefer the halftime show over the game. At Central Catholic, the school band plays second fiddle.
Despite these differences, they have all adjusted.
Corpun file 16892 at www.corpun.com
Shelbyville Times-Gazette, Tennessee, 28 October 2005
Child's paddling upsets family
By Clint Confehr
A school paddling of Community School eighth grader Samuel Manus has his parents, Freddy and Tracy Manus, complaining to the school superintendent and sheriff's department.
(T-G Photo by Clint Confehr)
A Unionville mother and father are complaining about the paddling of their 14-year-old son, allegedly by Community High School's assistant principal, and they've taken their concerns to the superintendent of schools, the sheriff's department and have released their boy's medical records showing bruises and swelling at his tailbone.
"Diagnosis: Child Abuse," is a notation in the physician's notes.
Community High School Principal Robert Ralston declined comment and deferred questions to Bedford County Schools' Central Office where Superintendent Ed Gray said he's in the middle with responsibilities to protect students' as well as employees' rights. To avoid duplication of efforts, Gray said Bedford County Sheriff Clay Parker and/or his detectives would be investigating the allegations.
Samuel Manus suffered a "knot and bruise on [his] lower spine," which showed "swelling due to excessive force ... punishment with a wooden paddle," according to Dr. Corbi D. Milligan, a physician in Smyrna who examined the eighth grader on Monday. The paddling on Wednesday last week, Oct. 19, was a result of an incident on a school bus Oct. 18.
The boy didn't tell his parents, Freddy and Tracy Manus of Virgil Crowell Road, until Sunday, Oct. 23, "because he had a run-in with Mr. Williams last year," Freddy Manus said. The father says he was escorted at that time from Community School by a school resource officer and that on the way out, Assistant Principal Keith Williams told him "'I call the shots. You don't.'"
The distinction seems important because of an apparent difference in paddling policies between Community High School and Community Elementary School, as interpreted by Tracy Manus, who points to Student Handbooks. Parents are asked if they'll give permission to paddle elementary schoolers, but the high school student handbook doesn't have such a reference.
Regardless, Freddy Manus says his son, Samuel, didn't deserve a paddling that resulted in such injury. He took Samuel to Dr. Milligan on Monday afternoon after he and Samuel visited the superintendent that morning.
"After listening to their explanation of the incident, I advised the parent that he could file a complaint with the school system, file a complaint with the sheriff's office or make a report to the Department of Children's Services. He took a copy of the school system complaint form," Gray said in a prepared statement. "The father returned to my office and related that he had chosen to file with the sheriff's office. I explained to him that the school system would cooperate with the law enforcement investigation."
Ralston said: "Community High School has been made aware of a complaint being issued regarding our staff. It is our policy not to comment on student matters except with their parents or appropriate authorities. Any further questions can to be directed to our central office."
Samuel Manus said he was paddled by Williams who used a paddle with a face approximately 4-inches wide and perhaps a foot long. He had to bend over with his hands on a bench for the paddling which was observed by Ralston, the student said.
His doctor said she'd not seen such injury from paddling before.
"It hit the lower part of the spine," Milligan said.
"Most times when kids are spanked, they're hit on the buttock," she said. "He would not have had bruising had he been hit on the buttock.
"The American Academy of Pediatrics' policy on corporal punishment is ... it's not an appropriate form of punishment at any age," the pediatrician said.
"I understand there are cultural differences, but there have to be boundaries," she said. "If marks are left, then the punishment is excessive."
What led to the paddling is described by the Manus family: Samuel was seated on a county school bus with a friend. They were going to his house after school on the other boy's normal bus ride. Samuel had a foot in the aisle of the bus, an infraction of rules on that bus.
Freddy Manus sees merit to the rule but only if a passenger is trying to trip another.
Because of the infraction, the bus was stopped and Samuel Manus was told to sit behind the driver.
The boy told the Times-Gazette that he told the driver, "'If you don't leave me alone, I'll get my daddy on this.'
"He said, 'Shut up,'" Samuel Manus reported.
Freddy and Tracy Manus concede their son has been paddled before. The three "licks" he got last week brought his total to five, having had two administered during one previous "butt whuppin'," the parents said.
Freddy Manus said Thursday he's taken medical records to the Bedford County Sheriff's Department that afternoon, having left them for Detective Chris Brown. The father and detective had spoken earlier.
A call to the Sheriff's Department resulted in no contact with Brown or Parker.
It was not totally clear whether the department would proceed toward an arrest warrant or whether the information gathered would be presented to the grand jury for the potential issuance of an original indictment.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press has reported that a new state law requires anyone who suspects a child has been abused to report the case directly to the Department of Children's Services, or face a $2,500 fine. The law is expected to have the greatest impact on teachers, day care workers, nurses, and institutions dealing with children.
Another state law says teachers and principals may use corporal punishment in a reasonable manner against any pupil for good cause to maintain discipline and order in the public schools.
Another section says teachers can hold students accountable for disorderly conduct on campus and the school bus.
However, boards of education shall adopt rules as deemed necessary to implement and control any form of corporal punishment.
Gray says there is no system-wide policy. Some schools follow the state law. Others have their own policies. The discrepancy has been approached, but not resolved by the school board.
Follow-up: 10 November 2005 - Paddling investigation by DHS continues
Corpun file 16883 at www.corpun.com
The Robesonian, Lumberton, North Carolina, 28 October 2005
Spanking ban lifted
By Mark Locklear
LUMBERTON - The Public Schools of Robeson County is no longer sparing the rod after a two-week moratorium on corporal punishment was lifted - but principals have been advised of legal concerns and to paddle sparingly if at all.
That decision was made Tuesday when Superintendent Colin Armstrong and other administrators met with principals to better define when corporal punishment can be used. Principals were given a list of seven behaviors that could result in corporal punishment assuming consent of a parent or guardian had been provided. The list will be posted at the schools.
Armstrong imposed the moratorium on Oct. 13, just days after a parent at Rowland Middle School complained to the school board that a teacher left bruises on her son's buttocks when he was paddled.
Armstrong met with the principals to review the state and local policies.
"I walked them through the policy and highlighted the most critical parts," Armstrong said. "For instance, who can use corporal punishment and when it can be imposed and reconfirming the parents' option not to allow it."
If a parent or guardian who has given consent changes his position and doesn't want his or her child paddled, educators must abide by that decision, Armstrong said.
Armstrong said he asked principals to use caution when administering corporal punishment, which is considered a last resort.
"I let them know that the legal option always exists," he said. "Most people are aware that we live in a society where legal options have been in place for years. Most educators are aware that their behavior is subject to scrutiny."
Armstrong distributed a list of seven offenses that could result in a paddling. They are: fighting; inappropriate or vulgar language; disrespecting a teacher; skipping school; creating an unsafe situation at school; creating an unsafe situation on a bus; or endangering the safety of students or staff.
According to the board policy, "students must be warned in advance of corporal punishment that certain types of misbehavior could result in corporal punishment."
"We wanted to be reasonably consistent as a system," he said. "The principals are going to use the same list."
Armstrong said the principals will probably send a letter to parents informing them of the types of misconduct that can result in corporal punishment. He said all student handbooks will be revised next school year to include the new list.
Armstrong told the principals to review the policy with their staff.
"The teachers and principals are fairly comfortable with it," he said. "I just wanted to make sure we understood every piece of the policy."
Follow-up: 23 February 2006 -- State BOE probes paddling complaint
Corpun file 16884 at www.corpun.com
Daily Herald, Columbia, Tennessee, 30 October 2005
Sparing the rod
By Thomas Munro
While paddles are gathering dust in most Maury County schools, one school is still using its paddle more than once a week.
Hampshire Unit School, with 3 percent of the county's students, accounted for 53 percent of the corporal punishments doled out last year, according to data provided by the Central Office at the request of The Daily Herald.
Hampshire Principal Stan Curtis said the 41 corporal punishments at his school last year involved 25 students, including 24 boys and one girl. Seven percent of the school's 339 students received corporal punishment.
Though the number of students involved in the 77 total corporal punishments in the county last year was not determined, that number of students is at most 0.5 percent of last year's total student population.
Curtis said he has been following the district policy, which allows administrators to paddle students as a means of discipline.
"We're not trying to win the battle of the most corporal punishments," he said.
OTHER SCHOOLS, OTHER POLICIES
Curtis said Oct. 20 the discovery that his school is responsible for a disproportionate number of corporal punishments does not mean he will reconsider when such punishments may be appropriate or rethink the school's policy or procedures.
Director of Schools Eddie Hickman said he saw the numbers for the first time Wednesday. Mary Carter, supervisor of attendance and discipline, said these tallies have been gathered routinely in the past, but were not gathered in 2004-2005 because the federal government did not ask for them.
Hickman said Wednesday paddling was a parent's choice.
"It doesn't alarm me, coming from a rural school," Hickman said. "I think that if more schools used paddling then the number (at Hampshire) wouldn't be that alarming."
Hickman said he chose not to paddle students at Central High School when he was principal there.
Principal Ken Wiles of Riverside Elementary, which reported zero corporal punishments, said the district's 11 elementary principals agreed informally four or five years ago not to paddle elementary school students.
"The incidence was so slight anyway," Wiles explained.
Hampshire school includes all grade levels, kindergarten through 12th grade, and Curtis said he does not have a policy against using the paddle on elementary school students.
He said he had heard about the agreement among elementary school principals but was not a party to it.
Hickman said he plans to discuss Hampshire's corporal punishment procedures with Curtis.
The only other elementary school to report corporal punishment was Mt. Pleasant. According to Principal Larry Brown, the four incidents he reported included three in which the parent carried out the punishment. In the fourth case, Brown said, the parent had requested a paddling and was present for it.
"It's absolutely, positively the last resort," Brown said. "Normally, we don't do that."
Curtis said he usually deals out corporal punishment at a parent's request, but sets certain limits on the frequency of paddling.
"I'm not going to paddle a kid over three or four times in a year," Curtis said.
Hickman said there is no training for administrators in the use of corporal punishment, nor has there been any since he began in the schools.
The 77 incidents last year is down from numbers reported to the federal government for the 1999-2000 school year, when 160 students received corporal punishment. Sixty-five of the 160 attended Whitthorne Middle School, which this year reported 11 incidents of corporal punishment. The county reported no incidents at Hampshire.
SCHOOL BOARD POLICY
School Board policy places a number of restrictions on the character and procedure of corporal punishment in Maury County. According to policy, "The process of administering a paddling to a student on the buttocks with a school-approved paddle witnessed by licensed personnel is called corporal punishment.
"A student shall be struck in a responsible manner no more than three (3) times during corporal punishment," the policy continues.
Elsewhere, the policy indicates that a student's own bad behavior is not the only factor to be considered when deciding on corporal punishment.
"The nature of the punishment will be such that it is in proportion to the gravity of the offense, the apparent motive and disposition of the offender, and the influence of the offender's example and conduct on others," the policy states.
School Board policy further directs school officials to consider the age, sex, size, physical condition and emotional condition of the child when determining the use and degree of corporal punishment.
If parents do not want school officials to be authorized to paddle their children, they must fill out a form and meet with school administrators to discuss alternative punishments. In the past these forms were distributed to parents whenever their children were new to a school. Carter said she did not know if the forms were still handed out at elementary schools that have unofficially banned the practice.
The policy does not require that parents be present or that they be informed of the paddling. Curtis and Principal Jeff Quirk of Culleoka Unit School, which reported 13 paddlings in a school population of 966, said while they will tell parents at some point, they do not necessarily tell them ahead of time.
Hickman and Carter said they did not receive any complaints from parents about corporal punishments last year.
A NATIONAL DEBATE
School corporal punishment is currently banned in 28 U.S. states. A 2002 ABCNEWS poll found that while two out of three Americans approve of spanking children, three in four do not think it should be permitted in school.
In 1999-2000, 4.2 percent of Tennessee students received corporal punishment, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Since then, the Nashville, Memphis and Maryville school systems have banned the practice, adding to a list that includes Knoxville and Murfreesboro.
Corporal Punishment By the Numbers
Incidents in 2004-2005 reported to the Central Office:
41 at Hampshire Unit School
13 at Culleoka Unit School
11 at Whitthorne Middle School
4 at both Mt. Pleasant Elementary School and Mt. Pleasant High School
2 at both Santa Fe Unit School and Mt. Pleasant Middle School
0 at Baker, Brown, Highland, Howell, McDowell, Riverside, Spring Hill and Woodard elementary schools; Cox Middle School; Central and Spring Hill high schools