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The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, 16 July 1982
Judge bans whipping at Pryor state home
(AP) A Mayes County judge has issued a restraining order at the request of state Attorney General Jan Eric Cartwright, forbidding "whipping, beating, spanking and paddling" at the Whitaker State Children's Home in Pryor.
The order was issued in conjunction with a lawsuit filed by Cartwright Thursday against the Department of Human Services, director Lloyd Rader, school superintendent Stephen Scott and four unidentified state employees.
Cartwright said he will amend his suit to identify the employees two men and two women after his investigators make sure which ones are alleged to be involved.
The court action was filed following a flying tour of the Pryor school, operated by the Pryor School District under Department of Human Services supervision.
Two attorneys from Cartwright's office and a Department of Health jail inspector flew to Pryor from Oklahoma City early Thursday and conducted the inspection with the aid of Whitaker's superintendent and DHS officials from Oklahoma City.
Pryor School Superintendent Larry Burdick said he was not aware of the suit, but he said Whitaker teachers follow state law in the use of corporal punishment.
Burdick said he was not aware of any unusual amounts or occurrences of corporal punishment at the school.
Cartwright is seeking a permanent injunction against the department to prevent officials from "using force to punish, discipline or chastise any juvenile" at the institution.
A new law preventing corporal punishment of children in DHS custody was passed this year by the state Legislature. The bill went into effect July 1.
George Miller, Rader's secretary, said DHS officials are at a "total loss" to understand the suit because the department "never has allowed corporal punishment in its policies and procedures."
Cartwright refused to discuss the suit or any alleged incidents of punishment.
DHS officials said investigators from Cartwright's office also inspected the Taft Children's Home.
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