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School CP - October 1997

Corpun file 1571 at


Lexington Herald-Leader, Kentucky, 10 October 1997

Plan would mean Irvine school no longer without a paddle

By Sheryl Edelen
Central Kentucky Bureau

IRVINE -- Students at Irvine Elementary School are well-behaved, say school officials.

Debra Stone, the school's principal for 10 years, said she can't remember any student causing major discipline problems.

But in a move that's left some parents angry and school board members concerned, Irvine Elementary plans to become the only school in Estill County to use paddling to discipline students.

Members of the school's site-based decision-making council are waiting for advice from the state, Stone said, but if all goes well, paddling could be allowed by the first of next year.

Even so, Stone stressed that paddling would be used rarely.

"We would never consider using it until everything else we've tried doesn't work, and even then, the parents would have the option of deciding whether they want it done or not," she said. "We can then discuss suspension, or other options, but it puts the responsibility on the parents."

One parent already knows where she stands.

Dixie Wise, whose family recently moved from Irvine to nearby Ravenna, said she went out of her way to keep her two youngest children, Laura, 9 and William, 5, enrolled at Irvine Elementary. She likes the school, and thinks it is the best place for her children to learn.

But she doesn't like the lessons she says paddling would teach.

"I think it's sending the wrong message to our kids, that if you hit, you will be hit," Wise said.

Irvine Elementary stands alone in Estill County, but across the state, more and more schools are giving corporal punishment another look.

"It looks like it is becoming more popular, we get a lot of calls about it, asking for information," said Angela Wilkins, a program consultant with the state Division of Student and Family Support Services.

"There's been a rising level of regular aggression in the classroom setting," Wilkins said. "All the teachers I've talked to say they hope they never have to do it, but they are running into a wall, and want to be able to use the threat of (paddling) to maintain order."

Lee County Superintendent Charles Glen Wilson said corporal punishment seems to be working in one of his schools. Bayville Elementary, in Beattyville, reinstituted paddling three years ago, Wilson said, and hasn't had any problems at all.

"The principal there said she's never used it, hopes to never use it, and probably won't ever use it," he said.

From a district standpoint, the issue is a liability, said Estill County Assistant Superintendent Elwood Daugherty.

Many of the objections voiced by the school board come from a fear that without adequate liability insurance, the entire system can be held accountable for something that happens in one school, Daugherty said.

Daugherty said the board wants the Irvine Elementary council to pay the $3,700 insurance premium needed to give additional coverage to the entire district.

Stone refused, saying the premium would drain the school's resource funds, and that state law does not require the school to provide more insurance.

Kentucky legislators have repeatedly relegated the issue to local jurisdiction, said Lisa Gross, a Department of Education spokeswoman. Since 1991, two state regulations dealing specifically with corporal punishment have been overturned, Gross said.

"They were definitely saying it was a local issue," she said.

"We don't want to be super contrary," Stone said. "But we feel like if this is something we have the jurisdiction to reinstate and a lot of parents and staff seem to be in favor of giving it a shot, then we should."

All Contents © Copyright 1997 Lexington Herald-Leader. All Rights Reserved

Corpun file 2228 at

University Wire, 22 October 1997

Waco schools vote on corporal punishment

(The Lariat, Baylor Univ.)

(U-WIRE) WACO, Texas -- Corporal punishment was once a common form of discipline found in American schools. Times have since changed and many question whether paddling by schools could be considered child abuse, while others still see it as their last option. Many states have banned school districts from taking this type of disciplinary action because of legal battles with parents. Currently, corporal punishment in Texas is left up to the individual school districts to choose whether to use it.

The Waco Independent School District voted 5-1 Thursday to continue to allow corporal punishment in its schools with the provision that only administrators could give paddlings. Parental consent would not be required, but the schools will honor parental requests not to paddle their children.

The Baylor Lariat editorial board differed in opinion on whether educators had the right to paddle or not, but did agree the most effective discipline should start at home with parents disciplining their children at an early age. Parents should take an active role in disciplining their children, rather than leaving school systems solely responsible for discipline. Parents who leave discipline up to the discretion of the schools take the chance of their child being paddled by an administrator.

In Baylor's School of Education, there is not a set policy on teaching corporal punishment, said Dr. Elden Barrett, professor of curriculum instruction. Barrett teaches a course on classroom management that addresses discipline in schools.

Barrett said he does not agree with corporal punishment, but it is legal in Texas.

Barrett said there has been a long-time trend of declining discipline at home.

With both parents working or single parents raising families, Barrett said many times parents are too tired to "do it right" or even discipline at all.

When disciplining children at home, parents can use whatever form of discipline they decide is best for their children. If the children receive strict discipline at home, there will be little need for paddlings -- which the schools reserve for severe discipline problems.

If more parents would take the time to discipline their children at home before they go to school, the teachers would have more time to teach. It is obvious at young ages whether children have received discipline in their homes. Children who have received parental discipline usually know how to follow rules set in school by teachers. Also, most know the difference between acceptable and unacceptable classroom and social behavior.

Barrett suggested alternatives to corporal punishment, such as time-out, detention and isolation. At school, he said teachers should punish a disruptive student by making the student leave class last or sending the student to in-school suspension.

To avoid the risk of corporal punishment getting out of hand, parents need to do the disciplining. Teachers and administrators should not have to play the role of parent to a child who has been neglected by their own parents.

As future parents and teachers, we need to understand that early rule-setting and following through with disciplinary action in the home will lead to better-behaved children in the school systems. Administrators and teachers should not have to be put in the position where corporal punishment would be necessary.

Facts about Corporal Punishment

At 3.4 percent, Texas has the 6th highest national number of incidents of paddling by educators. 27 states in the U.S. have banned corporal punishment in their schools. Every industrialized country in the world now prohibits school corporal punishment except the U.S., Canada and one state in Australia. Schools are the only institutions in America in which striking another person is legally sanctioned. It is not allowed in prisons, the military or in mental hospitals. China Spring, La Vega, Lorena, Midway, Robinson and West independent school districts also allow corporal punishment, according to an article in the Waco Tribune-Herald.

Information taken from The Center For Effective Discipline Homepage.

(c)The Lariat via U-Wire

Corpun file 1697 at

Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tennessee, 22 October 1997

Sevierville principal charged in paddling

By Gina Stafford
News-Sentinel staff writer

Sevierville Middle School Principal William Love has been charged with felony aggravated assault for paddling a student at school, according to records.

The arrest warrant was obtained by the legal guardian of the student.

Dan Price appeared before Sevier County Magistrate Roy Rogers on Friday to swear out the warrant accusing Love of paddling Price's grandson, 12-year-old Matthew "Bo" Hurst, so severely that blood vessels were broken.

The paddling occurred Oct. 15, the same day school officials contacted Price and received his permission to paddle the boy, apparently "for acting up,'' said Price's attorney, Bryan Delius.

"When Mr. Price picked up his grandson that afternoon, he was complaining of pain in his buttocks," Delius said. "His grandmother examined him, and they could not believe it. He had broken blood vessels in his bottom. They took him to the emergency room at (Fort Sanders) Sevier Medical Center."

Delius said the boy was enrolled in the school's special education program.

"Because of that, the doctors asked him if he was sure he'd been paddled over his clothes," Delius said. "He told them he was, and the doctors said they'd never seen this type of severity and called the (state's) Department of Human Services."

A report also was filed by the Sevierville Police Department. Police spokesman Keith Tunnell said officers haven't placed any charges against Love.

Price took the report and police photographs to the magistrate. A Dec. 5 hearing is scheduled in Sevier County Trial Justice Court.

Sevier County Schools Superintendent Jackie Parton and the school system's lawyer could not be reached for comment.

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