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www.corpun.com   :  Archive   :  2003   :  US Schools Jan 2003

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UNITED STATES

School CP - January 2003




News Tribune, Jefferson City, Missouri, 14 January 2003

Raytown South suspends Lathrop, Crudup

RAYTOWN (AP) -- Raytown South's Bud Lathrop, one of Missouri's best-known high school basketball coaches, has been suspended by the school, and so has one of his assistants, former Missouri star Jevon Crudup.

The Kansas City Star reported that during a practice last week one of its reporters saw the 67-year-old Lathrop use a wooden paddle on several players after they missed free throws during a drill.

The Star reported Tuesday that word of the suspension leaked when it was following up with school officials on last week's incident.

Lathrop, who has won four state championships, said that although he has occasionally spanked players with a paddle, the one-week suspension stems from verbal abuse. But one of his volunteer assistant coaches, Phil Duncan, said the paddling incident prompted the disciplinary action.

Raytown South officials declined to elaborate on the suspension, citing privacy in personnel matters. But Lathrop was adamant that the suspension, which will cause him to miss one game and four practices, was not related to the paddlings.

"It was probably just a misunderstanding of my aggressiveness," he said. "Maybe my lack of communication."

Crudup, who played at Raytown South for Lathrop before playing for Norm Stewart at Missouri, is coaching the sophomore team at the school this season. But the Star said he, too, had been suspended and watched his team's game from the stands Monday.

Crudup, 30, declined to comment on his situation. Duncan, who like Crudup played for Lathrop at Raytown South, said Crudup was suspended for "being too hard" on his team.

"It was basically two parents complaining," Duncan said.

Crudup's sophomore team was off to a 7-1 start. In an article last Friday about the former Missouri star's venture into coaching and his hard-nosed approach to the game, The Star said a few parents had written letters of complaint to the high school and the school district.

The newspaper quoted Crudup as saying, "It's a whole new generation of kids. Some of them just don't want to work. ... As I get older, I'm starting to see a lot of changes in players and the game. And it's all negative."

Lathrop estimated he has spanked players on occasion for "a few years."

But Duncan, who graduated in 1992, and Crudup said Lathrop has used a paddle for discipline going back more than a decade.

"He used to hit us a lot harder," Duncan said.

Lathrop is in his 41st season at Raytown South. His teams have won 32 conference titles in addition to the four state championships, and his overall record is 876-287. The team is 11-2 this season.

Lathrop said he has been suspended only once before in 44 years of head coaching, and that was for getting two technical fouls in a game.

Center Deron McCoy, a senior who was one of the players spanked last week, said Lathrop had used the paddle a few times this season. Most often, he said, the discipline came after free throws were missed in practice.

"It doesn't hurt," McCoy said. "He's not trying to embarrass you, but really, would you want to be hit with a paddle? It's not like he's saying, 'I don't like you, and now I'm going to hit you with this paddle.' He's just giving you incentive to hit a free throw.

"I love Bud because he's brought me so far. Basically, he took me in like another son since I came out of eighth grade. He does what he does -- and he can be hard -- but you can't help but love him. People see him in games and see all the yelling and think it's all bad, but it's not like that. It's all good."

Raytown Superintendent Henry Russell would not address Lathrop's suspension specifically but said the district does not condone physical punishment.

"We have a policy that prohibits corporal punishment," Russell said. "There's a range of things one looks at to decide what's appropriate. There's nothing in board policy that says this happens when this happens."

All Contents Copyright 2002-2003 News Tribune Co. All rights reserved.



Kansas City Star, Missouri, 15 January 2003

Lathrop says paddle goes back to 1960s

By Sam Mellinger
The Kansas City Star

Bud Lathrop

Jill Toyoshiba/The Star

Longtime Raytown South basketball coach Bud Lathrop will spend more time at his Raytown home after being suspended after paddling a player in practice this week.

Head coach Bud Lathrop has paddled Raytown South High boys basketball players since the 1960s. Tuesday, amid much discussion about the use of corporal punishment, Lathrop said he would never do it again.

Lathrop missed only his second game in 41 years at Raytown South, while serving a one-game, five-day suspension. He spent most of the day on radio shows, fielding calls from well-wishers and watching himself on different news shows.

This is at least the second time the school has confronted Lathrop about using a paddle. The first was in the early 1980s after a parent's complaint. The paddle rested for about five years. But last week, in the presence of a Star reporter, Lathrop spanked several players for missing free throws during a practice drill.

Corporal punishment is outlawed by Raytown school district policy.

"If I want to go back and coach, that's what I've got to do," Lathrop said Tuesday as he sat in his living room and heard a radio caller say he would never change.

"They're the boss and the lieutenant and the general and I'm the private. I have to do what they say. If you don't like it, then don't be in the army."

Lathrop told The Star on Monday he had used paddling as a disciplinary technique for "a few years." On Tuesday, however, he said he has been paddling players for more than 30 years.

Sophomore coach Jevon Crudup, also suspended on Monday, wouldn't comment on radio and television reports that he was fired on Tuesday. School officials continued to decline comment on all personnel matters, except for Raytown school district superintendent Henry Russell's statement that the investigation into Lathrop's conduct was complete. Lathrop, 67, repeated his stance that his suspension was for words, not whacks from a paddle.

Lathrop, however, said he did hear from school officials about 20 years ago after a parent complained about the coach paddling players.

"I do holler at them in practice and I used to swat them before an article in The Star put an end to that last year," Lathrop told The Star in 1982. "But I don't see anything wrong with either thing. I look at it like disciplining my own son. I feel like I do it out of caring for them."

Autress McCoy said he supported Lathrop, despite his son Deron being one of the players paddled last week.

"Coach Lathrop is not an abuser," McCoy said. "He's a very strong and caring coach and I want you to know that. The kid loves his coach. We love his coach. I consider it an honor for him to take the time with my kid and Deron will go to college because of what coach Lathrop has taught him."

All six former players who spoke with The Star on Tuesday said the paddlings sometimes left red marks on their rears, but those went away after a few hours. Nobody reported knowing of anyone seriously hurt from the spankings.

"The paddle, that's what made me the man I am today," said Les Saunders, 29, who graduated from Raytown South in 1991. "The kids today, a lot of them don't want anybody to get to them."

Jon Grider, 42, a member of the class of 1979, said Lathrop wasn't the only coach -- or teacher -- who used a paddle to make a point. Grider called Lathrop a "fantastic coach" and said he never felt abused.

He did say, however, that he was surprised to learn that Lathrop brought the paddle back after what happened before.

"He knew 20 years ago that it wasn't acceptable so I don't know why he thought it was OK now," Grider said. "He must have forgot or something. Personally, I think he's got a hard-headed bunch of kids he knows can be good and he's trying to get their attention."

Lathrop's phone rang most of Tuesday. Sometimes it was a radio station, wanting a few minutes on air. Sometimes it was a reporter, asking a few questions. Most often, though, it was a friend or former player, calling to wish him well.

Lathrop's wife, Gay, said there were five messages left for Bud during the 30 minutes he was out in the morning. Bud estimated he had heard from 20 people by mid-afternoon, a number that might have been higher had his conversations been shorter and his phone equipped with call waiting.

Lathrop took it all in, mostly from the comfort of his favorite chair, the blue recliner in the basement. He wore khaki pants and a white Raytown South shirt with "Coach Lathrop" on the right breast and the years of his four state championships on the left.

When he got up, it was usually to do some chores around the house. He kept the fireplace full of wood, swept the floor, and took care of some laundry. Around 4 p.m., he picked up senior standout Tyrone Young and took him to school in time to catch the bus for Raytown South's game at Grandview Tuesday night.

It was Lathrop's second missed game in 41 years -- he was suspended a few years back for receiving two technical fouls in one game -- but he still snuck in some coaching on the ride over to school.

"You gotta rebound and you gotta get back because they do a good job rebounding," Lathrop told Young, as they cruised in the front seat of the coach's Lincoln Town Car. "They do a 2-3 zone on the out of bounds. They go to a 3-2 once you get it in, and it's wide open in the middle."

By the end of the day, he'd been on at least two radio shows and talked to about 10 reporters. Gay said it was the household's busiest day since Raytown South player Chris Lindley lost his foot in a 1990 accident.

Usually upbeat and as talkative as a teen-ager on a cell phone, Lathrop was noticeably worn out from jawing about suspensions and paddles. He and his wife both fought tears.

"I just don't want anybody thinking I beat players for everything they do," Lathrop said. "For 40-some years, I tried to give kids a good program and tried to do what was right."



Kansas City Star, Missouri, 15 January 2003

Veteran coaches say game changing

By Derek Samson
The Kansas City Star

The line separating high school coaches from trouble continues to twist, and some coaches say it is heading the wrong way.

Raytown South boys basketball coach Bud Lathrop was suspended Monday for a week. Lathrop, in his 41st season at Raytown South, has used a paddle to discipline players for missing free throws in practice.

Other Kansas City-area longtime coaches do not condone paddling players, but also defend Lathrop.

"I'm going to do what's permissible by my school district, and what I'm comfortable with," said Blue Valley Northwest's Ed Fritz, a head coach for 20 years. "I know that's not allowed. I've never done that before, but that doesn't mean it's wrong."

Fritz, like many veteran coaches, expressed frustration over the evolution of high school sports.

"I don't think kids have changed," Fritz said. "Kids will respond to anything. Parents have really changed. When I started, they did everything to support the coach and team. Now, a lot of parents think they know more than the coach. They know what's right. They question everything."

Is that good or bad? Depends on the situation.

"There's been a great change, whether it's right or wrong," said Kearney girls coach Herb Webster, who's been in the business for 36 years. "When I first started, it was a lot easier than today."

Jack Bush, who coached 52 seasons before retiring from Central High last season, remembers when parents told coaches to paddle their sons if they needed it.

Bush used to allow his players to decide discipline for a teammate. Back in the 1960s, his players often voted to snap a teammate on the rear with their belts.

But, as Bush points out with a chuckle, that was a long time ago.

"Times have changed, and you must change with the times," Bush said. "If you're going to do it, don't do it in front of a witness.... When you start dealing with different types of students, you have to realign your thinking."

Profanity, almost expected from the prototype coach in the old days, now is discouraged. Extensive yelling can become a negative. Physical contact almost always sets off alarms.

Some coaches, especially the veterans, believe it is overblown.

"I don't believe coaches abuse their players in any way," said 30-year coach Scott Stein, now the Eudora boys coach. "They might raise their voices and, in the heat of the game, the coaches get after them. But there are too many people attempting to control everything.

"Very few things used to be questioned. Now everybody questions because everybody thinks they're an expert."

There is a line, though, that appears to be in different places at each school. A wooden paddle for missed free throws, coaches say, is on the wrong side. Webster simply makes players do push-ups or run for missed free throws.

"Going too far is what the coach, administration and school district feel is going too far," Webster said. "It'd be hard to say what's going too far. That's up to the individual school. I've never (paddled a player). Never thought about doing that.... I yell at kids a lot. I suppose there are school districts that discourage yelling."

Liberty's Roger Stirtz is among the wave of young coaches. Stirtz, in his fourth year as head coach, has led the Blue Jays to the Missouri state tournament the past two seasons.

"Kids thrive under guidelines," he said. "They like discipline. It comes with a line. When it's crossed, kids lose respect. The respect is the big thing. That respect leads to relationships. Without the relationships, rules don't mean much."

2001 kansascitystar and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.




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CBS SportsLine.com, 17 January 2003

Legendary K.C. area coach takes hit in changed world

By Dennis Dodd
SportsLine.com Senior Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Everybody who has ever been within 15 blocks of his aura knows him as "Bud."

The Bud Lathrop Ledger: 41 seasons, 876 victories, four state titles.

The Bud Lathrop Ledger: 41 seasons, 876 victories, four state titles. 

There is no need to add a last name when Bud Lathrop, 66, strides into a gym, a living room or, for that matter, the Final Four. The Raytown (Mo.) South High School basketball coach has been going to them for years. It was the high point of his social calendar.

Major-college coaches gravitated toward him in hotel lobbies. They had to. He fed them players for years.

After more than 800 victories and almost 70 years on the planet, his piercing voice still rises above the collected din of a packed gym. But they silenced one of the great high school basketball coaches in the country this week.

The school district in the Kansas City suburb suspended Lathrop for what he says was verbal abuse. But the fact that he was observed using a wooden paddle on players during practice recently certainly contributed to the suspension -- five days and one game. It will end Saturday.

Lathrop fielded every interview request and spoke to every well-wisher this week because he knew how it all sounded. His intermittent use of a wooden paddle, Lathrop admitted, dates back to the 1960s; he's now in his 41st season.

"The main thing I wanted to get out to people is we're not standing here killing the kids," Lathrop said.

No, far from it. Only 20 or so high school coaches in history can stand in his shadow -- four decades, 876 victories, four state titles. In this town there are a handful of indigenous sports icons -- Buck O'Neill, Tom Watson, George Brett, Len Dawson and Bud.

But you put the words "paddle," "kids," "discipline" and "high school" in the same sentence these days, and Lathrop becomes a national story for another reason. The black-and-white of it suggests he hits kids, berates them.

That's how the country operates these days. It's right or it's wrong. Evil or good. Good guy or bad guy.

Well, like most stories, there are layers, explanations, background. This story doesn't have a convenient conclusion. It leaves you scratching your head. Mostly it's hard to form an opinion.

Those of us who covered Lathrop in the 1980s knew about the paddling. His players were part of it and apparently didn't speak out. Certainly a large part of Raytown, which got a lot of its identity from Lathrop's basketball teams, knew about it.

So why now, in the first month of the fourth year of the 21st century, does it become an issue? Why is Lathrop suspended in his 67th year when, by all accounts, he has mellowed?

Because what most people didn't give a second thought to 20 years ago is now considered horrific by the PC police.

Bob Knight psychologically gutted his players (and worse) for almost 30 years and finally got fired because he didn't win enough. Comedian Bill Mahr killed his own ABC show, ironically titled Politically Incorrect , with one ill-timed comment. He criticized the government in the wake of Sept. 11.

Maybe, in the end, it's all about timing. There's no way to be sure, because school district officials are refusing to comment.

"To me, swatting them is what we did in the '60s," Lathrop said this week. "(Now it's) a little love tap on a guy's butt you couldn't even feel probably."

Ultimately, you've got to ask yourself if the paddling itself is wrong. Those of us who have scars on our hands from nuns slapping us with rulers are in that group. So are those who were made to run all those laps and take all that humiliation from high school and college coaches.

In a shock-the-monkey type motivational ploy, Raytown South players were hit on the rear each time they missed a free throw in practice. Former Raytown South players told the Kansas City Star that the paddlings sometimes left red marks on their behinds.

And until Monday, it wasn't an issue. Then the school and the school district reached a conclusion that it wasn't OK anymore. Corporal punishment, they called it, against district policy. But even that finding is up for debate.

"It was a comedy," said Bob Dernier, a former major-leaguer with the Phillies and Cubs who played basketball for Lathrop in the 1970s. "You could have your best player on the line in practice on Thursday. Then when it came down to true crunch time, those types of little games in the game in practice, I believe were very helpful. It wasn't done in any kind of malicious way.

"I don't know if you're an old Caddyshack guy. You remember the old scene when Danny Noonan was putting?"

Yeah. It became the Webster's definition for distraction. Noonan!

A day after Lathrop was suspended, a two-hour morning radio show turned into a love-fest for the old ball coach. Support was overwhelming. Former players called in their praise. He was being accused of hitting players, but one host called Lathrop's radio support "110 percent."

Dernier said: "I would get asked this simple question: 'Who was influential when you were an amateur player?' I think they were looking for me to say a baseball guy. I would always bring up Bud. He taught me two things as a coach and village father -- discipline and work ethic."

Dernier was not alone. It went on and on this week. The outrage was not over the coaching techniques but over the suspension.

But suddenly it is 2003 in Raytown, and black-and-white is in. Conspiracy theorists say some disgruntled parent or player dropped dime on Lathrop. Hey, it has happened before. A parent complained about paddling 20 years ago, although Lathrop wasn't suspended.

So who is more to blame here? Raytown officials who had to know this was going on, or Lathrop? Is this just another way of silently edging an old guy out the door?

If that's the case, then Lathrop and his legacy will not go quietly. His team is ranked among the best in the city. One of his players, Tyrone Young, is considered among the best in the state. Knight's coaching prowess is overshadowed by him being a dysfunctional human being. Lathrop sweeps the people's choice award in both categories.

"In the old days, did I have to worry about a kid's ride home?" Lathrop said. "Today, these kids don't have ... it's a split home or a grandma. I've become more of a dad to these guys than I was 30 years ago."

Predictably, the Cardinals lost without their coach on Tuesday. Assistants took over, and Raytown South looked rudderless in a 21-point loss.

"When they made me miss the game, that really affected the kids," Lathrop said. "I know I don't score any points, but sometimes I hope I'm worth 10."

It is a career that has torn at his soul before.

A decade ago, standout Chris Lindley was bound for Kansas and the Jayhawks when he lost a foot to a passing train while playing near railroad tracks. Former player Jevon Crudup helped lead Missouri to an undefeated Big Eight record in 1994. Crudup recently returned to coach the Raytown South sophomore team and has been reportedly fired for the same thing that got Lathrop suspended -- verbal abuse.

Dernier is exasperated by it all. He refuses to believe his coach is abusive. It's the world that has gone soft, he says.

"I played 10 years in the big leagues, and there wasn't any one more fun than when I played in Raytown as a kid," Dernier said. "Maybe a little bit of it was old school discipline. I remember a little league coach made me cry because I couldn't run the option the way he wanted me to run it.

"It taught us you can be a little soft but within that game there was a certain edge you had to put on ... I think Bud is kind of conveying that whole idea."

Lathrop was contrite this week. He compared his position to that of an Army private. The school district is the general. He will change. He will have to. The only thing he loves more than coaching is his wife, Gay.

But before this week, Lathrop's life was not unlike that of Bear Bryant who, it turned out, needed to be a coach to live. Now?

"I'm really asking myself," he said, "Do I really want to push myself until I die?"

Copyright 2003 SportsLine.com, Inc. All rights reserved. CBS "eye device" is a registered trademark of CBS Inc.



Kansas City Star, Missouri, 17 January 2003

Sports

Paddle casts shadow over Cardinals' season

By Derek Samson
The Kansas City Star

Tyrone Young stood at the free-throw line, wiped sweat from his face and focused on the rim.

Grandview's bulldog mascot stood just beyond the baseline near the basket. Turning its tail toward Young, the clever canine slapped its rump with a paw. The Grandview student section started the chant that surely will become common at Raytown South road games.

"Pa-ddle, pa-ddle, pa-ddle."

This season will never be the same for Raytown South. That's too bad. It really was shaping up as a special year.

A week ago, Raytown South would have been among the top six or seven favorites in Missouri Class 5. The Cardinals, at 11-2, had a legitimate shot of sending coach Bud Lathrop to his 10th state tournament in 41 years at the school. Lathrop says he has the best player in Missouri in Young, whose statistics back his coach's claim.

Then the paddle went public.

Lathrop acknowledged he sometimes paddles players for missing free throws in practice. He was suspended a week.

Everything changed, especially the Cardinals' chances of ending their season in Columbia.

"I'll try my best to get them going again," Lathrop said. " ... Kids respond. Kids are going to do what I ask them."

So far this week, the Cardinals are responding. That's not a good thing.

They see school officials acting like the Secret Service. They're ushered out of a locker room as if it's on fire. Their practice is canceled Wednesday because of all the commotion.

How else can they react?

Tuesday night was no shocker. The Cardinals looked distracted and played like a team ready for the season to end. Grandview dished out the only spanking that night in a 60-41 rout.

Grandview might have beaten Raytown South without the controversy. Grandview is 9-1 and hasn't lost in regulation. Raytown South has issues with depth and balance no matter who is coaching.

But no way Grandview wins by 19 points, or anything near that, without the paddle press.

This wasn't the Raytown South team that ripped through 11 of its first 13 opponents. Cardinal players traveled with no one guarding them. They fell down on defense. They missed open shots inside and hardly drew the rim from the outside.

They scored only five points in the first quarter. The Cardinals trailed 44-28 at the end of the third quarter. Twenty-eight points through three quarters? Heck, Young averages more than that per game.

The frustration showed every minute. Players argued as they came to the bench during timeouts. They sulked and trudged off the court when interim coach Michael O'Shaughnessy substituted for them.

"I knew it would be hard for them," Lathrop said. "Who's at fault? Me. I did something, so I wasn't there."

He missed quite an ending, too. Young crashed down on his face after being hit in the air during the fourth quarter. He was taken to a hospital with one fewer tooth, a splitting headache and a nasty gash.

Tension increased.

A minor skirmish in the final minute nearly cleared the benches. Raytown South principal Kevin Overfelt, trying to avoid an ugly day turning hideous, sent the Cardinals on the bench to the locker room with a minute left in the game.

One by one, Raytown South players exited the gym amid jeers and taunts, while Grandview toyed with their teammates left on the court for the final minute. The bizarre ending turned out to be, in a cruel way, fitting for that excruciating Tuesday.

You have to wonder whether it also marked the sad end to such a promising season at Raytown South.




Billings Gazette, Montana, 21 January 2003

Committee recommends corporal punishment repeal

Associated Press

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Calling it an "archaic law," members of the House Education Committee recommended repealing a state law Monday that allows corporal punishment in schools.

House Bill 68 co-sponsor Rep. Jeff Wasserburger, R-Gillette, said he knew of no schools in Wyoming that still spank, paddle, slap or otherwise physically discipline students for bad behavior.

"I think (the law) makes Wyoming look rather backward," he said.

The Equality State is one of just 23 with corporal punishment laws still on the books, co-sponsor Rep. Ann Robinson, D-Casper, said. Wyoming is among five states trying to repeal the law this legislative session.

Similar bills have been introduced the past three years, but have never made it through debate in the full House or the Senate.

The bill, which also defines corporal punishment, still allows school officials to use force to defend themselves or to break up a fight on school property or at school-sponsored activities.

Chris Christenson, a lobbyist for the Wyoming Education Association, said most teachers are appalled by the law and view it as an avenue to abuse children.

"The kids this law would allow you to punish are the kids that probably shouldn't be," he said, often because they are abused at home.

"It's a law I think never should have existed in Wyoming," Christenson said.

Tim Solon, of the Wyoming Church Coalition, told committee members discipline should be left to parents, while the American Civil Liberties Union emphasized alternatives to violence, such as discipline hearings.

Committee members agreed, but some questioned the need to repeal the law if state schools are not following it to begin with.

"If we don't have a problem with this, why do we need to have a law addressing a problem that doesn't exist?" Rep. Kurt Bucholz, R-Saratoga, said.

Robinson said the bill was needed to clean up Wyoming's reputation as a state which still allows corporal punishment, even if it is not practiced. She said the bill only repeals a law, and does not create one.

"We need it because school boards need to know (corporal punishment) is not acceptable," she said.

In its 8-1 recommendation, the committee added several amendments that clarified where necessary force can be used and other issues. Rep. Jane Wostenberg, R-Worland, voted against the recommendation.

She argued if many school districts have already changed their corporal punishment policies, "then local control has already taken care of the problem."

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved.



blob Follow-up: 24 January 2003: Bill would ban spanking in schools




News 8, Austin, Texas, 22 January 2003

Police investigate paddling of Vidor student

By Associated Press

VIDOR -- Vidor police are investigating claims by a student who said he was seriously hurt after an administrator struck him with a paddle.

On Nov. 12, Jacob Smith, 17, was sent to the principal's office at Vidor High School by his teacher and saw Assistant Principal Loren Rice.

Vidor police said Wednesday whatever the infraction was, corporal punishment was carried out.

Beaumont-Port Arthur television station KBTV reported that Smith has been having weekly hospital treatment for an injury to his back.

According to medical documents and records, Smith has a shattered bone in his lower back, which he attributes to the paddling at school.

Police are considering whether to file a charge of misdemeanor assault.

Officials with the Vidor Independent School District declined comment because Superintendent Joe Williamson was out of the office.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press, All rights reserved.




Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming, 24 January 2003

House Roundup

Bill would ban spanking in schools

By Robert W. Black
Associated Press Writer

CHEYENNE -- Spanking of schoolchildren would be banned, gambling on all rodeo events would be legalized and stiffer penalties would await repeat drunken driving offenders under measures passed Thursday by the House.

The bills were among nine that passed third and final reading and sent to the Senate for further debate.

House Bill 68, which would prohibit physical discipline in schools, was approved by a 48-10 margin.

Supporters of the measure say the existing law allowing spanking, swatting or slapping children is outdated and that such discipline counters anti-violence messages taught in school. Others say such punishment should be left to parents.

Torrington fourth-grade teacher Loretta Davis, who was visiting the Capitol with her students Thursday, agreed with proponents of the measure.

"I've been in education for quite a few years and actually, back in the early '70s, I did spank a kid for lying, cheating and stealing, and I don't think it did that much good anyway," she said.

Rep. Monte Olsen, R-Daniel, who voted against the bill, said no child should ever be beaten "black and blue," but he said when he was attending school in Cheyenne, paddling occurred just often enough to keep everyone in line.

"We have this perception of doing irreparable damage to our kids because of the swat, but I don't think that's the case," he said. "There are some times when I think that grabbing your ankles isn't so bad."

The bill, which also defines corporal punishment, would still allow school officials to use force to defend themselves or break up a fight on school property or at school-sponsored activities.

....................



blob Follow-up: 13 February 2003: Senate narrowly defeats corporal punishment repeal



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