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School CP - April 1994

Corpun file 04445
The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, 19 April 1994

Granite Father Files Suit In Son's School Paddling

By Ed Godfrey

The father of a Granite elementary school student filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the school over the paddling of his son.

Wilbert Sanders alleges Granite Elementary School Principal James Fesmire last year used excessive force when he paddled his son, Morgan.

The lawsuit alleges the principal "jerked him up by his belt loops and viciously beat him" with a wooden paddle. Sanders' attorney, David T. McKenzie, said the fifth-grader suffered severe bruising on the buttocks and had to take painkillers for some time afterward.

McKenzie said the student was being punished for allegedly not attending school. The Granite school district allows corporal punishment, the lawsuit states.

Granite school officials could not be reached for comment Monday.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City, also seeks a court ruling declaring the school's policy of corporal punishment to be unconstitutional.

Twenty-six states have abolished corporal punishment.

In Oklahoma, 150 school districts, or about one-sixth of all districts, allow corporal punishment.

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