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The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, 4 April 1996
Duncan School Board OKs Return of Corporal Punishment
By Lillie-Beth Brinkman
DUNCAN - This fall, the Duncan School District will return to using corporal punishment on students who misbehave, board members decided this week.
But the new policy comes with some definite guidelines:
- Parents may request in writing that their child not receive a paddling.
- Paddling will be used only after considering the student's past behavior or severity of the misconduct.
- Students facing a paddling will have a chance to explain their sides of the story first.
- The school will not paddle administer any corporal punishment to students with disabilities.
"The corporal punishment is not going to be a widely used tool," said Assistant Superintendent Larry David, emphasizing it will be administered as a last resort.
The district began researching the issue after 64 percent of parents responded in a survey that they were in favor of corporal punishment.
Further study revealed 57 percent of teachers were willing to administer it, and 43 percent said they would rather the principal administer it, David said.
"I think it is a good move," said Irene Seay, principal at Horace Mann Elementary School. "It still serves as a deterrent."
David said the Duncan School District sought information from other school districts that have a corporal punishment policy. He said the district's attorneys also looked closely at legal angles.
The school district had corporal punishment until about four years ago, when the Oklahoma Education Department issued a moratorium banning it.
Since then, the education department has left the decision to the local schools.
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