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Corpun file 24953 at www.corpun.com
Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming, 18 November 2013
Wyoming schools can paddle students, but don't
By Aerin Curtis
CHEYENNE -- Wyoming is one of 19 states nationwide that allow schools to paddle students.
But it doesn't appear that many in the state use the practice, according to corporal punishment data collected by the U.S. Department of Education and the Center for Effective Discipline.
"It's not even a discussion," Laramie County School District 1 assistant superintendent of instruction Tracey Kinney said. "It seems antiquated as a disciplinary measure in schools, so I don't hear it discussed."
According to data gathered by the Office of Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Education, no Wyoming students were paddled in 2006, the last time statewide data was released. Nationally, there were 223,190 students disciplined that way that year.
Since the turn of the century, the largest number of students in Wyoming to experience corporal punishment in a school was eight in 2000.
Nationally, there were 342,038 students paddled that year.
The practice of corporal punishment, or paddling, isn't specifically mentioned in school handbooks or discipline policies in either LCSD1 or LCSD2. But both districts do give examples of what punishments might be used if students misbehave.
LCSD1 rewrote its policies last year, creating the district's elementary progressive discipline matrix and the secondary discipline matrix.
"We don't exercise corporal punishment," Kinney said.
At the elementary level, responses to misbehavior include having to miss recess, talking with the principal or suspension. The response depends on the level of the behavior, according to the matrix.
"(Paddling) seems kind of counterintuitive, especially if you have a youngster being physically aggressive with another student," Kinney said.
For older students, punishments include things like a warning, community service, loss of privileges, in- or out-of-school suspension and expulsion, according to the matrix.
In LCSD2, school handbooks point to discipline responses like students being sent out of class, suspended and expelled.
State statute says that teachers and administrators will be "immune from civil and criminal liability in the exercise of reasonable corporal discipline." But it also has to be authorized by a district's policy.
LCSD1 Board of Trustees Chairman Brian Farmer said the topic hasn't been a discussion since he's been on the board.
It also hasn't been a recent topic in LCSD2, Board of Trustees Chairwoman Esther Davison said.
"I've been on the school board for five years, and there's never been a discussion," she said.
Prior to being on the board, she was a teacher in the district for 21 years, she said. It wasn't a topic during that time.
"I don't think we've ever touched a kid. I don't think that's done," LCSD2 Superintendent Jack Cozort said. "I just don't see most districts doing things of that sort anymore."
Corpun file 25087 at www.corpun.com
Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, 24 November 2013
Corporal punishment persists in Florida schools
Educators, parents don't always agree about it
By Denise Smith Amos
Paddling in schools has been declining for years across the country and across Florida. But in North Florida it maintains a fast foothold in 20 public school districts and in uncounted private schools.
In 1988, one of the last years all Florida school districts allowed in-school spanking, 84,495 kids were physically punished in public schools. Just 20 years later, in 2008, only 4,869 students were struck in 30 of Florida's 67 school districts.
That number has fallen even more, to 2,996 kids in 2012,
according to recent Florida Department of Education figures. Most
of those paddlings were at schools in North Florida.
Without Jones' knowledge, a male staffer hit her son twice
with a wooden paddle. The boy cried later, complaining he was too
sore to sit. Two days later, because he was still in pain, Jones
took him to Memorial Hospital, where an emergency-room doctor
noted a 6-inch-long, 3-inch-wide bruise on his butt shaped like a
No longer the norm
Schools and educators have found many non-physical ways to
discipline kids. Corporal punishment is no longer the norm in
most of the nation's schools.
Now 31 states ban all corporal punishment in public schools.
Two states, New Jersey and Iowa, also ban it in private schools.
Proponents of paddling say large school districts often
struggle with student behavior and unflattering test scores and
graduation rates, in part because teachers fail to manage
classrooms and students lack discipline.
Its use is limited
Even proponents of paddling say that they limit how often it
WHAT DOES FLORIDA LAW SAY ABOUT CORPORAL PUNISHMENT?
Teachers and other instructional personnel shall have the authority to undertake any of the following actions in managing student behavior and ensuring the safety of all students in their classes and school and their opportunity to learn in an orderly and disciplined classroom:
(k) Use corporal punishment according to school board policy and at least the following procedures, if a teacher feels that corporal punishment is necessary:
1. The use of corporal punishment shall be approved in principle by the principal before it is used, but approval is not necessary for each specific instance in which it is used. The principal shall prepare guidelines for administering such punishment which identify the types of punishable offenses, the conditions under which the punishment shall be administered, and the specific personnel on the school staff authorized to administer the punishment.
2. A teacher or principal may administer corporal punishment only in the presence of another adult who is informed beforehand, and in the student's presence, of the reason for the punishment.
3. A teacher or principal who has administered punishment shall, upon request, provide the student's parent with a written explanation of the reason for the punishment and the name of the other adult who was present.
Alternatives to physical discipline
Positive Behavioral Supports teach children why what they did was wrong and give them tools to improve their behavior. School districts across the U.S. have implemented PBS, and have seen substantial declines in disciplinary referrals and improvements in school-wide safety.
Social-skills instruction programs help students learn how to make good choices and teach them the social skills they need to behave appropriately such as listening, asking questions politely, cooperation and sharing … Students are provided reinforcement and feedback and are taught self-monitoring skills.
Character education programs include teaching children to think about how their actions affect others, how to manage anger, and how to make good choices.
Student recognition programs teach and recognize commonly held values including pride, respect, responsibility, caring and honesty. An awards assembly honors students who demonstrate these values and an attempt is made to make sure all students are honored sometime during the year.
Peer mediation is when students are given specific instruction in active listening, restating problem situations from their own and disputants' perspectives, anger management, identifying feelings, brainstorming and developing solutions to problems. Peer mediators are trained to help solve problems that might otherwise escalate into conflict and result in punitive actions.
-- Second Step violence prevention program integrates academics with social and emotional learning. Kids from preschool through Grade 8 learn and practice social skills, such as empathy, emotion management, problem solving, and cooperation. www.cfchildren.org/
-- FAST Track Program is a long-term prevention program to prevent chronic and severe conduct problems for high-risk children. It includes the school, the home, and the individual in its intervention. Its main goals are to increase communication and bonds between these three domains, enhance children's social, cognitive, and problem-solving skills, improve peer relationships, and ultimately decrease disruptive behavior in the home and school. FAST Track specifically targets children identified in kindergarten for disruptive behavior and poor peer relations. www.fasttrackproject.org/
-- Restorative Justice conferences help students learn to be accountable for their actions. These involve conferences of the offender, persons offended, the parents, and school representatives who have an opportunity to tell the offender how they were affected and what they need to happen to go on. The object is for the offender to act to correct the situation: restore relationships, apologize, pay back, clean up, or do community service.
Traditional punishment alternatives include:
-- Use of discipline codes, school psychologists, school counselors and community mental health professionals and agencies.
-- In-school and out-of-school suspension, expulsion, Saturday school, restitution, detention and parent pick-up programs.
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