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School CP - November 1982

Corpun file 7264 at

West County Times, Crockett, California, 3 November 1982

Swett district bans spanking

By Lynn Kidder
Times staff writer

RODEO -- Striking students will no longer be allowed as a form of discipline at the John Swett Unified School District, under a John Swett school board decision Monday.

cutting"It's our job to give children guidance on the consequences of wrong behavior. Striking a child doesn't give them that guidance," said Board President Sharon Collins, explaining Tuesday her opposition to corporal punishment.

Board members decided to prohibit corporal punishment in a 4-3 vote. Collins, Karen Crow, Zoe Lighty and Diana Schleich opposed use of corporal punishment and Charles Hammer, Al Jusaitis and Steven Palmer voted in support of it.

Board members expressed opposition to this form of discipline at the Oct. 18 meeting during a review of district policies.

Former district policy allowed school officials to strike students "as a last resort." And school authorities were required to get parent approval before using corporal punishment.

Diana Schleich, board member, said Tuesday she supported revision of this policy because principals do not use corporal punishment. "Our policies should be consistent with our practice," Schleich said.

Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 20 November 1982

Educator Cites Need For Paddling

A Christian school educator told a group in Lancaster that corporal punishment is often necessary for effective discipline in the schools.

"We'd better get back to it (corporal punishment), and it better be controlled. Talking alone doesn't do it and praising alone doesn't do it," said the Rev. Larry Katz, senior pastor and educator at the Barcroft Bible Church in Virginia.

"Lest you fear I'm going to preach a doctrine of 'beat the kid', that's not the case," he told more than 100 Christian school teachers and administrators during the 34th annual conference of the Mid-Atlantic Christian Schools Association at the Host Farm and Corral.

Katz said he believes in "rods," a stick which is "simply an extension of a man's hand." He added corporal punishment is "an item to be carefully controlled," and pain should be inflicted only to punish, not destroy the body.

The discipline problem in some public schools, Katz said, has been caused by the attitude, "we can't touch the kids. We can't punish. Well, words, detentions .. don't make a difference," he said. "They've taken away a tool that God says is appropriate."

Kirk Fisher, pupil services coordinator in the Lancaster School District, said he agrees that corporal punishment is often useful -- and it is used in public schools.

For example, he said, in the 1980-81 school year, there were 939 paddlings at the city elementary schools and 394 paddlings at the junior high schools, with many, though, involving repeat offenders.

Katz, citing various passages in the Bible, gave the following reasons why corporal punishment is necessary in the school.

While the home was the educational setting during the days of the Old Testament, "Today, the classroom situation is the home and the school," he said. At school, discipline, or "efforts to get a person to respond properly to authority," must be taught.

"Wrong action is not just a learned characteristic," Katz said. "It is basically something that comes from within ... They come into this world with a basic bent to do evil. Kids are not basically good."

Corpun file 4443 at


The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, 29 November 1982

Northwest parent seeks corporal punishment ban

A northwest Oklahoma City mother of three children is trying to organize a group aimed at abolishing corporal punishment in Oklahoma classrooms.

Sharron Masterson, 6104 Walnut Lane, said the task of interesting parents in the group has been slow-going so far but "the way we would like to go about it is not sensationalizing abuse in the schools."

Objectives, she said, are to overturn a state law authorizing school districts to impose physical forms of punishment on students and gather information on alternative disciplinary measures.

Mrs. Masterson, whose children attend Putnam City schools, said the district gives parents the option of requesting that corporal punishment not be used on their children.

"It doesn't work," she said of the policy, but was reluctant to talk about specific incidents of physical abuse. She did tell, however, of knowing instances in which such measures are employed "for as little as talking in class."

The Putnam City parent believes any form of physical punishment has a negative effect on children and that educators should be aware of that fact even if faced with a serious discipline problem.

"Personally I think it's appalling that teachers feels if they can't hit a children they have no control over them." In her view, "discipline belongs in the home; it shouldn't be a major problem in the schools."

The recent incident involving a physical search of Oklahoma City school children was "appalling," she said. "I think any form of physical punishment given in Oklahoma schools is severe."

A former Michigan resident who has lived in Oklahoma since 1979, Mrs. Masterson said her children were free of the threat of corporal punishment in Michigan because it has been eliminated there.

"When we moved down here, my children were absolutely terrified of this corporal punishment."

No organizational meetings have been held and none is planned until after the holidays. When it does get started, she hopes the group will not take an adversary position but instead work closely with school administrators and teachers in a consciousness-raising effort.

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