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School CP - November 2015

Corpun file 26382 at

logo (KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities), Yakima, Washington State, 2 November 2015

Man Finds School Paddle From 1968 Hidden Inside Wall in Kennewick

By Chris Luther

KENNEWICK, WA. -- We asked for your help and we got an unbelievable response. First we want to thank our amazing viewers for all their help.

A paddle from 1968 is what everyone is talking about. There are 28 names on it, many people might recognize, like Greg Rish or Davie Bledsoe.

A couple days ago we first brought you the story of Rick Fehr who found the paddle in the wall while fixing a leak underneath his sink. The paddle is from 1968 and says "Teacher of the Year Award Winner Mr. Frank Deymonaz".

Through all your emails we've narrowed it down to a 6th, 7th, or 8th grade classroom from either Jefferson Elementary or Chief Jo Junior High. One man emailed us whose name is on this paddle. And he solved the question of what it was used for, we believe.

He said he doesn't remember being in any special club, but teachers at that time, including Mr. Deymonaz used different items for punishment, like a paddle.

We've also learned a lot more about Mr. Deymonaz. Several people have told us that he was the principal of Vale Elementary and Middle School in Oregon.

Frank unfortunately passed away in 2005, according to our emails and an online obituary, which is what Rick thought happened. Now the goal is to find the closest remaining relative.

And we're well on our way. We've had two emails from people claiming to be his grandchildren, including one who is currently serving in Afghanistan. So this story has even reached overseas.

Stay tuned everyone, we should have another story on the paddle coming soon.



KENNEWICK, WA. -- A man in Kennewick needs your help to return a piece of history to its rightful owner.

You never know what could be hiding inside the walls of your house. Rick Fehr found that out two months ago when fixing a leak beneath his bathroom sink.

"Behind this wall," Fehr told us. "It was below the pipe. It was real soft and I just pushed through it. And I hit something and I dug it out. And out came that paddle."

Out came this piece of mysterious wood in nearly perfect condition. On top reads "Class of 1968." On the bottom, "Best Teacher of the Year Award Winner, Mr. Frank Deymonaz."

Rick immediately knew what the paddle was used for, corporal punishment. He grew up in Pennsylvania, and felt the sting of a few paddles when he was a boy.

"Oh yeah," Rick said. "I know how they feel."

"Not good right?" we asked. "No not at all."

There are 28 names on the paddle. Some of them with numbers next to their name, Rick assumes for how many times they were paddled that year. None got the paddle in Mr. Deymonaz's class more than Matt McElroy.

"Maybe he was the trouble maker," Rick joked. "Maybe he stole it."

Where Rick found the paddle left him curious.

"Wow. Why would somebody have this here," Rick said. "Because the house isn't that old, it's the class of 68. I think somebody took it away, stole it, and were going to get caught with it. And said I want to get rid of it."

After hours of online research and discussions with people on Facebook, Rick thinks he narrowed down the paddle to a Richland school. He talked to the school district but didn't get much help.

"They just didn't seem interested in it," Fehr said.

Rick is now focusing on finding any last remaining relative of Mr. Deymonaz.

"My ultimate goal is to find this gentleman's family whether it's his children or his wife," Fehr said. "And I'd like to present it to them and say, this is what I found and I think it should belong to you guys."

Because Rick thinks on his dinner table and beneath his sink are two locations where the paddle doesn't belong.

"It needs to be a proper place and it's not my house," Rick said. "It's not mine."

Next time you do some home repairs, keep an eye out. You just never know the history you might find, resting inside a wall.

Here are the 28 names on the paddle. The spelling of the names might not be exact since the handwriting is old and some of it is illegible.

- Steve Wolf
- Lynn Dyer
- Mike Hajeke
- Jon Kottwitz
- Mark Foster
- Carolyn Olson
- Calla Knecht
- Joe Lipke
- Bill Cantrell
- Christy Vimmedge
- Susan Boone
- David Harty
- Tom Heineman
- Bonnie Green
- Shelly Dalen
- Kathy Abrams
- Nancy Reardon
- Matt McElroy
- Ed Devine
- Laurie Jo Haney
- Steve Byland
- Andy Kratzer
- Mark Gladstone
- Greg Rish
- Davie Bledsoe
- Ted Simons
- Debbie Hamberg
- Ed Guthrie
- Charles Hastings
- Mark Gunther
- Bill Rulon

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Corpun file 26242 at, 6 November 2015

The strong bond that almost led Leonard Fournette to Alabama

By Joseph Goodman


NEW ORLEANS -- They called the paddles the Boards of Education.

When LSU running back Leonard Fournette walks onto the field on Saturday at Tuscaloosa's Bryant-Denny Stadium, the Heisman Trophy frontrunner will share a strong bond with three people on the sidelines that has just as much to do with corporal punishment as it does with football.

Fournette, his younger brother Lanard, LSU running backs coach Frank Wilson and Alabama running backs coach Burton Burns are graduates of St. Augustine High School in New Orleans' 7th Ward. They all played running back for the Purple Knights, and, of course, they were all subject to paddling at the locally famous Catholic school known in New Orleans simply as "St. Aug." Discipline is a key to learning, and for years that lesson was taught there one swing at a time.

There was a wooden paddle for every misdeed.

The strict environment shaped Leonard Fournette into the player and person he is today, and influenced the professional culture of Burns' position unit at Alabama, which has produced a dynasty of elite running backs. It also created an unbreakable bond between alumni. Inside the beating heart of one of the biggest college football games of the season is a personal rivalry of men who consider each other brothers. Back in the 7th Ward, its residents view the game not only as a reflection of St. Augustine, but also the neighborhood as a whole. The school and its ward are special places, and they have helped raise some titans of college football.

"St. Augustine High School is the only one of its kind in the United States of America," said school principal Sean J. Goodwin. "We are the only African-American, male, Catholic school -- all boys -- in the United States of America. We are the only one. There is no other."

There are other all-boys predominately black Catholic high schools in the country, but Goodwin's emphatic pride isn't misplaced. It's a short list of prep schools, period, with a history as rich and socially important as St. Augustine, which is tucked away unassumingly in one of New Orleans' most historic wards. The significance of Saturday's game is more than just a contest between two good college teams for the Fournettes, Burns, Wilson and many in the 7th Ward and around the country. Represented in both backfields will be a living legacy of one of the most unique prep schools in the country, which is a cornerstone of the black community in New Orleans, and a profound source of unity for alumni who until five years ago shared a fraternal brotherhood forged through the common experience of corporal punishment.

The Archdiocese of New Orleans controversially ended paddling at St. Augustine in 2011, but "if you went to St. Aug before then, you got paddled," says Goodwin. "Make a bad grade, get paddled; talk in class, get paddled; not admit to talking in class, everyone gets paddled -- basically any minor offense."

No tie? Board of Education. No belt? Board of Education. Uniform untucked? There was wood for that, too.

"If the paddle was live, you were hit," Goodwin said. "There was nobody who could escape the paddle. Nobody."

In other words, Fournette, who started at St. Augustine in 2008 as a seventh-grader, might be the last great back to come out of the school with a seasoned backside.


The tight connection shared by all graduates of St. Augustine is something similar to a fraternity, only perhaps closer. All grads are welcomed at the school at all times, and, according to the school's principal, it's a regular occurrence for a "St. Aug man" to return to his alma mater and speak to a class. The list of prominent and influential grads is long, but some of the most notable are Arnold Donald, the CEO of Carnival Corporation, Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, Stan Verrett of ESPN, actor Carl Weathers, rapper Mack Maine, former New Orleans mayor Sidney Barthelemy and, of course, Alabama basketball coach Avery Johnson.

Opened in 1951 and run by the Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, the school was influential in the desegregation of high school athletics in Louisiana.

"When Saint Aug was born, it was like the diamond in the rough, and it still is," said Goodwin, the principal. "This little bitty school right here in the 7th Ward -- you can go anywhere you want and you're going to find a Saint Aug man. I went to Switzerland and found one of my people there.

"It's just like any other school, but the bond here is so tight."


-- reporter Gary Estwick contributed to this report.

Joseph Goodman is a senior reporter for Alabama Media Group.

© 2015 Alabama Media Group. All rights reserved

Corpun file 26243 at

The Marshall Project, New York, 11 November 2015

When School Feels Like Jail

Isolation rooms and paddling: What some schools in the South are doing to keep students in line.

By Eli Hager


A student inside the Yazoo City Alternative Learning Center, an alternative school in the Mississippi Delta. Rory Doyle for Medium/Bright

Rockmon Montrell "Rock" Allen, an 18-year-old from Jackson, Mississippi, has never gone to jail. But school, he says, was close enough. At Ridgeland High School, a large public school in an increasingly black suburb of Jackson, he was punished repeatedly for what seemed like minor reasons.

In the ninth grade, when he wore the wrong-color uniform or didn't tuck in his shirt, Rock got "whooped," as he puts it. That meant bending over, putting his hands on a desk, and getting hit three to five times on the backside with a flat wooden paddle. Mississippi is one of only four states -- the others are Alabama, Georgia, and Texas -- where school districts frequently use corporal punishment on students (although 19 states allow the practice by law). Teachers and administrators openly use paddles -- and, in rarer cases, belts, rulers, and key chains -- to whip kids into order.

In the 10th and 11th grades, according to Rock's official disciplinary record, he was sent to in-school detention whenever he spoke out of turn, questioned a teacher, was tardy, or refused to take off his hat. In-school detention, which in some schools is referred to as in-school suspension, takes place during school hours. Instead of being in class, Rock would sit in an empty room, doing nothing, for up to three days at a time.

"I wouldn't say I was a smart aleck," he says, "but I was known for speaking up." He recalls asking "why" a lot, like why the pilot of the Enola Gay wasn't considered "the worst murderer of all time," and praising Karl Marx during history class. By Rock's own description, he is curious by nature; he's always thinking, always speaking up. "Teachers either loved me or hated me," he says.

Then, in 2014, a few weeks into the 12th grade, Rock did the same thing a 16-year-old black girl in Columbia, South Carolina, did this October: He pulled out his cellphone during class.

When his principal told him to put it away, according to the school, Rock responded with a verbal threat: "I'm going to bust [the teacher] for taking everybody's phones," he said. For that outburst, he was sent to Madison County Academic Option Center, an "alternative school" 15 miles away. He was required to stay there for four months.

In most states, students with emotional or learning disabilities or who are low on credits and at risk of dropping out are enrolled in alternative schools for long stretches, usually a year or more. But in Mississippi, students are temporarily placed there as punishment.

At Rock's alternative school, there were no windows in the classrooms and hallways. Teams of up to seven police officers regularly walked in and out, searching students' jackets. Rock grew to like the sometimes-overwhelmed teachers, but, he says, ninth- and 12th-graders were all held together in the same crowded rooms and received no academic instruction for weeks at a time.

By December, Rock was released and tentatively put on probation. He returned to his regular high school, where any infraction would mean getting sent back to the alternative school.

Only a few days later, Rock was caught in the parking lot during lunch -- a common practice that isn't against school rules -- and charged with being "outside of his assigned area" in violation of his probation.

He was sent back to the alternative school for the remainder of his senior year.

The punishments Rock received -- the paddling, the in-school detention, the stints in alternative school -- are not new. Corporal punishment is a traditional practice in the rural South, and alternative schools were established by the state of Mississippi in 1993. But according to teachers and parents, use of these methods is growing around the state, in part because of increased pressure from both advocates and school administrators to lower suspension rates and keep kids in the classroom -- and in part because there is no money to implement less-punitive alternatives, which would require training or hiring new staff.

Suspensions throughout the country have surged over the past two decades, largely because schools have relied on so-called zero-tolerance policies: If a student acts out, he or she is kicked out of the classroom, either by suspension, expulsion, or referral to law enforcement. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, as juvenile crime rates and fear of adolescent "superpredators" grew, legislatures and school districts adapted the no-excuses rhetoric of "tough on crime" laws into their approach to school discipline.

By 1997, 79 percent of schools around the country had implemented zero-tolerance policies, and by 2000, schools were suspending more than 3 million children per year. (By way of comparison, that's the same number of students who will graduate from public high schools this year.)

But a growing body of research shows that students who miss many school days will return to the classroom behind on their work, confused about what they've missed, and all the more likely to act out. Left unsupervised during the day, without anything constructive to do, they are more likely to get arrested, go to jail, or ultimately drop out of school. According to a 2011 report from the Council of State Governments, students who have been suspended or expelled are twice as likely to repeat their grade and three times as likely to end up in the juvenile justice system -- within a year -- compared to similar students at similar schools.

Clockwise from top left: Students learn about tolerance at Cleveland High School in the Mississippi Delta; a student asleep in class at the Yazoo City Alternative Learning Center; students walk through a metal detector at the Alternative Learning Center; police park outside Cleveland High School after school. Rory Doyle for Medium/Bright

Research also shows that punishments like suspensions and expulsions are disproportionately meted out to black students. They are three times more likely than their white peers to be suspended and even more likely to be expelled or referred to law enforcement for the same infractions, according to civil rights data from the U.S. Department of Education.

Acknowledging the problem, in 2010, public schools in Boston began discouraging suspensions and expulsions, which then dropped from 743 to 120 in only two years. In 2013, Los Angeles banned the practice of kicking students out of school for subjective infractions like "willful defiance." Suspensions there have also plummeted by more than 50 percent. And Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City, told schools earlier this year that from now on, all suspensions must be approved by his administration.

In January 2014, the Obama administration issued new federal guidelines under which schools must reduce their reliance on out-of-school suspensions and expulsions. The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights has since been investigating school districts across the country that use suspensions to unfairly "push out" students of color and students with disabilities.

Mississippi, which suspends a higher ratio of black to white students than any other Southern state, has received the message loud and clear.

In the southeast part of the state, schools in the town of Meridian -- which were investigated by the Department of Justice for routinely suspending, arresting, and sending students to jail for minor in-school infractions like using profanity, flatulence, and "disrespect" -- have been ordered by their superintendent to stop calling the police unless a student commits a felony.

Toni Kersh, director of school attendance for the state's Department of Education, says, "We're encouraging schools to start handling discipline in-house."

That in-house discipline includes policing the hallways, having students walk through metal detectors daily, patting them down, relying even more heavily on corporal punishment and in-school detention, sending more students to alternative schools, and surveilling them with cameras. The Tupelo Public School District, in eastern Mississippi, for instance, recently promised the Office for Civil Rights that it would "ensure to the maximum extent possible that misbehavior is addressed in a manner that does not require removal from school." In June, the school board authorized security guards to start carrying pepper spray in classrooms and hallways.


Tardiness is a paddle-worthy offense. Behavior labeled by teachers as "defiance," "disrespect," "horseplay," or "disorderly conduct" gets the same punishment. If a student wears the wrong uniform -- the wrong-color shirt or pants, an untucked shirt, shoes that aren't plain black or plain white, or, in some schools, jackets with a zipper -- same punishment again.

"They been coming up with all kinds of new stuff. But it's the same thing -- trying to catch us being bad," says Keshaun, a student at D.M. Smith Middle School in Cleveland, Mississippi, 20 miles from Rosedale. Keshaun says he recently forgot his gym shorts and was taken into a back room to get paddled. "It's called getting 'cookies,'" he says. "They do it harder the worse they think you are."


Jarquez, a student in nearby Sunflower County, says that in middle school, he was repeatedly patted down and told to open his backpack; now that he's a sophomore at Gentry High School, in the town of Indianola, Jarquez is regularly required to walk through a metal detector. And every time he's a few seconds late to class or is wearing the wrong belt, he immediately gets sent to in-school detention for a paddling by one of the coaches.

"I understand safety," Jarquez says, "but I feel like they're my aggressor, like I'm unappreciated. School shouldn't feel like that."

Adoris Turner, a spokesperson for the Sunflower County Consolidated School District, did not respond to the specifics of what goes on at Gentry High School but emphasized, "What we do may not be popular, but it keeps our children safe. We take the safety of our children extremely seriously."


"Paddling and in-school detention, it's a short-term, low-energy solution to all of that," says Jeremiah Smith, who helps run the Sunflower County Freedom Project, which offers after-school classes to kids in the central delta.

Carl Lucas, the algebra teacher and basketball coach at Simmons High School in Hollandale, in the southwest part of the delta, explains that these practices are highly traditional and provide an efficient and reliable alternative to out-of-school suspensions. "The parents, they almost all support it," he says, "and the children respond to it. It's what we have that works."

Unlike in the delta, teachers in Jackson don't have that option. Corporal punishment has been prohibited here since 1991. Cedrick Gray, superintendent of Jackson Public Schools, has repeatedly instructed schools around the city to reduce their reliance on suspensions. The police department is no longer regularly called to disrupt fights and keep order. Teachers say they are shamed for referring kids out of class too often.

"I agree suspending so many kids raised the chances of their dropping out, getting involved with the police," says Lynn Schneider, a 14-year veteran high school English teacher in the school district. "But we've gone the opposite direction -- discipline has fallen apart."

A paddle used for disciplining students during gym class at D.M. Smith Middle School in Cleveland, Miss. Rory Doyle for Medium/Bright


In a recent survey by the Jackson teachers' union, two-thirds of respondents said their classroom feels "out of control" on a daily or weekly basis, 60 percent said they have been physically assaulted, and 46 percent said they are considering leaving their job or even profession because of the mayhem. Crucially, 62 percent said they saw no good alternatives to suspension, expulsion, and police involvement for students who act out.

"We absolutely wish we could use corporal punishment -- that would be what works," says one language arts teacher who did not want to be named. "If we don't use real force, the transfer of power happens in an instant."

On a typically muggy Wednesday in October, students who have recently misbehaved in the hallways of Yazoo City High School show up at the doors of the Yazoo City Alternative Learning Center -- located fifty yards away. Georgia Ingram, the principal, says the alternative school has recently seen a noticeable uptick in its student body, which she attributes to the fact that the regular schools are trying to suspend fewer people.

Every morning, students at the Yazoo City alternative school walk through a metal detector and roll up their pant legs so the security officer, Rosie Stewart, can make sure they don't have a cellphone in their socks. They also have to hand over their keys, which, according to Stewart, "could be a weapon." Throughout the day, students must also walk on the right side of the hall, facing forward.

Inside the Yazoo City Alternative Learning Center. Rory Doyle for Medium/Bright

Stewart goes to training once a year to learn discipline strategies from real police officers. "They showed us everything -- how to look for drugs, to identify gangs, to lock down the building, and also transition people out of lockdown," she says. "And now I check in with the police department at the end of the summer to see which kids I should be looking at."


Corpun file 26229 at

Mathis News, Texas, 12 November 2015, p.1

Superintendent discusses new corporal punishment policy at parent summit

By Paul Gonzales
Mathis News Editor

Superintendent Benny Hernandez

MATHIS -- During the September school board meeting, a school policy was changed that will allow corporal punishment to be implemented in all Mathis schools.

The new policy states: "Corporal punishment may be used as a discipline management technique in accordance with this policy and the Student Code of Conduct."

And though "corporal punishment" sounds harsh, it's simply getting spanked at school when students misbehave.

Superintendent Benny Hernandez brought the change to the school and during last Friday's parent summit he was on hand to discuss the new policy with parents in attendance and what he hopes to accomplish by bringing corporal punishment back in to Mathis' school system.

"Studies have shown, and you as parents would know, that if you don't have discipline in the classroom, learning is never going to occur," Hernandez said.

Click to enlarge

"And how much teaching is done to the rest of the class when one kid is being disruptive?

"Not much."

Hernandez also points to the numbers of students in each grade in high school as one of the key factors of implementing the policy. As students progress in high school, their numbers begin to dwindle over the years from 140 freshmen to about 78 seniors who are left that graduate.

"And guess what?" Hernandez asked the attendees. "They're leaving us. And the ones leaving us aren't the bad kids, it's the good ones.

"And where are they going? To the three surrounding districts around us that implement corporal punishment. And they control them, and the parents want better for them."

Forms were sent home that parents can sign to keep their children from being spanked at schools. And the new policy won't be implemented until January to allow parents time to look over the form and decide if they want to sign it or not.

"And even though we're going to implement corporal punishment, parents still have their rights.

"If you don't want your child to be spanked, no problem. Sign the little statement, send it in and we're going to honor your request."

So what happens if a parent doesn't allow his/her child to receive corporal punishment?

Saturday school.

"I don't believe in ISS (In School Suspension). Never have. It's a waste of good educational time."

"I believe in two things; Saturday school and corporal punishment."

Hernandez stated that his Saturday school would consist of doing school work from 8 a.m. to noon, one hour for lunch, then from 1 until 5 p.m. students will be doing community service such as picking up trash and sweeping the hallways.

Click to enlarge

"If you're going to waste our time, I'm going to waste your time. And that sends a message real quick.

"Or just take your three swats and get back to class."

After implementing the policy next year, Hernandez doesn't expect a huge surge of visitors to their principal's offices, just a handful. He believes that once a few kids receive the punishment, the word will quickly spread.

"And like I tell parents, us as educators, that's our job. We educate.

"We're not disciplinarians. We're not here to spank your kid; we don't want to spank your kid. We want you to take care of it for us.

"But, if a parent isn't willing to help us, then you're forcing me to take care of the discipline. Because at the end of the day, I have to educate the kids."

Corpun file 26244 at

logo (KRIS-TV), Corpus Christi, Texas, 24 November 2015

Paddling students more prevalent in rural Coastal Bend school districts

By Andrew Ellison

Corporal punishment seems to be used more in rural school districts in this general area of South Texas.

CORPUS CHRISTI -- Many of you at home probably got spanked or paddled in school, and while it's less common these days, some school districts in the Coastal Bend still support corporal punishment.

It appears it's mainly the rural districts that do. For instance, Orange Grove, Premont, George West, and Brooks County ISD, just to name a few.

All of those districts have corporal punishment on their books.

Stacey Garcia is a Premont parent with two kids in the district. She supports the practice, and says it can be effective when used right.

"Talking to students doesn't always work. Talking to my kids doesn't always work," she says.

Click to enlarge

Some school districts are somewhere in the middle. Tuloso-Midway ISD has spanking or paddling listed as a form of punishment, but hasn't done it in years.

Superintendent Sue Nelson says, in today's age, it's just not the best way to handle things.

"With the emphasis on child abuse, and litigation surrounding that, and domestic violence, it kind of makes sense that you don't teach kids to hit," she says.

Some districts like CCISD, who don't use corporal punishment at all, have a long list of other punishments they say are more effective.

Michael Harrington is the district's director of student support services.

"Student-parent conference, letter home. It will move up to detention, counseling... suspension, ISS," he says.

"Punishment doesn't solve anything. What we have to do is get to the base of what the issue is, and work through it with the child, and with the family," he added.

Lisa Comparini is a professor of psychology at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Research shows her corporal punishment is only a short term solution.

"It stops the behavior, but if it it's not coupled with some sort of discussion, then it's really not tremendously effective in the long term," she says.

Certainly, the debate is far from over, but there's no denying, the practice is fading away.

According to Comparini, Texas is number two in the nation in corporal punishment use.

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