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School CP - September 2004
Times Record News, Wichita Falls, Texas, 5 September 2004
Parent says coach paddled, injured son
By Brent D. Wistrom
An angry father said some City View ninth grade football players were paddled by coaches after a Friday afternoon practice.
The brother of another player had similar accounts late Friday of the students being beaten on the backs and buttocks with a 4-inch-wide wooden paddle.
Both characterized the wounds as severe and said they wanted to press charges against the coaches involved.
The Times Record News is withholding the names of the coaches who allegedly beat the boys pending official charges. The boys' names are being withheld because of their ages.
William E. Barton, the father of one football player, said other parents were upset about the incident. He said one of the boys was teasing another boy in the locker room at about 2:30 p.m., following practice. He said one boy went to the coach to complain about the teasing.
The coach, the son told his father, came out of his office and paddled three football players, leaving welts and lacerations on their backsides.
"He got the licks at 2:30, and we could still see them at 10 that night," Barton said.
Barton said he gave reports to Wichita Falls police officers Friday afternoon and that pictures were taken of the wounds. Officer Sandy Lamb confirmed the paddling took place, but said it was being recorded as an "incident" and not a "criminal investigation." She said the injuries were consistent with disciplinary action at City View and are normal at the school.
City View High School Principal Steve Harris said Saturday he hadn't heard about the incident and didn't want to comment on it.
Barton's son said one of the coaches yelled at the boys saying, "I'm going to run your (expletive deleted) until you puke Tuesday."
"I think the cussing at the boys is a little too much when they're also cussing," Barton said.
The brother of another player gave a similar account to the Times Record News late Friday.
Barton said he had not signed any waivers giving his approval for City View school officials to paddle his son. "I've always told them if my kid breaks a rule and needs to be paddled, my wife or I need to be called," Barton said. He planned to contact an attorney this weekend.
"How come these guys can do it, and on a regular basis, and get away with it?" he said. "I'm not even going to let him play ball again."
Copyright 2004, Times Record News. All Rights Reserved.
KFDX.com, Texoma/Wichita Falls, Texas, 7 September 2004
Parents fuming over City View paddling
Some parents in City View say the high school coaching staff
was out of line when they paddled four freshman on Friday. Three
parents of 9th grade City View High School football players
showed up before the start of school today, hoping to meet with
the school's principal about a coach's punishment of their sons.
The parents say their sons were paddled Friday by an one of the
junior varsity coaches with so much force, it left marks and
bruises on the boys.
The Tribune Record, La Junta, Colorado, 8 September 2004
State law protects teachers
By State Senator Mark Hillman
Not that long ago, parents and students
understood that the teacher was "The Authority" in the
classroom. My parents impressed upon me that I shouldn't bother
them with frivolous complaints about a teacher and that if I got
into trouble at school, I would be in trouble at home, too.
Today, rather than re-enforcing teachers, some parents too often
turn their students' plaintive whining into an agenda item at the
next school board meeting. In some extreme cases, disgruntled
parents and ill-adapted students go so far as to threaten
lawsuits over anything from a classroom grade to a coaching
Teachers and other school employees who
are acting in good faith to enforce the district's discipline
code are immune from civil liability. Acting in compliance with
district discipline policy also shields the teacher from child
abuse or criminal charges and against disciplinary proceedings or
contract non-renewal by the school district. Courts are
instructed to dismiss any civil action upon finding that the
school employee was acting in a manner consistent with school
policy. In such cases, the plaintiff will also be required to pay
the school or employee's attorney fees and court costs. The court
may require the plaintiff's attorney to pay the defendant's
Northwest Indiana Times, Munster, 8 September 2004
Corporal punishment abandoned
By Katherine Bieker
MERRILLVILLE -- The time for corporal punishment in the Merrillville Community School Corp. has come and gone.
The Merrillville School Board on Tuesday unanimously voted to rescind its corporal punishment policy, which allowed teachers to use physical means to enforce discipline or modify student behavior.
The policy, which was last updated in July 1982, called for corporal punishment to be used only when other reasonable disciplinary alternatives failed. Teachers had to have a witness, parents had to be notified and a report was submitted to the building principal.
Merrillville Superintendent Tony Lux said the corporal punishment policy conflicted with efforts by the board to create a kinder, gentler school zone. Last month, the board unanimously adopted a civility policy aimed at curbing profanity, bullying and harassment on school property.
The civility policy states the school corporation won't tolerate hostile actions, abusive language, obscenities, verbal harassment or bullying from children or adults.
Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken for student violations, according to the school handbook. Adult violators can be restricted from school property for a specific period of time.
"Corporal punishment has seen its time. I don't think schools are using it much - I know we haven't used corporal punishment for several years now. This administration feels there are other forms of behavior modification that are more effective than corporal punishment," Lux said.
KFDX.com, Texoma/Wichita Falls, Texas, 14 September 2004
City View principal makes changes following paddling incident
A week after 3 City View parents met with the high school
principal over a paddling that left marks on their sons, the
principal says some changes are being made. According to two of
the students' parents, four City View football players were
paddled by two coaches on September 3rd at the school's field
house. The parents say the paddling left visible marks on the
boys for several hours after the paddling. On one of the boys,
the parents say you could still see the marks 20 hours after the
San Antonio Express-News, Texas, 19 September 2004
'Old school' ideas are new again here
By Jeanne Russell
The strict School of Excellence in Education rules are not posted in classrooms, but rather witnessed in subtle gestures, such as a high school student's quick, covert tucking in of his shirttail before he meets Superintendent Ricky Hooker's eye.
Hooker's Southern upbringing, his background as an Army officer, coach, teacher and school principal, his work as a minister, all infuse a Christian-influenced educational philosophy that begins and ends with discipline.
And if you measure success by size, Hooker is succeeding.
The School of Excellence, San Antonio's largest charter school, grew this year from 1,043 to 1,520 students, added a new campus and more than doubled its staff.
Students wear uniforms. Kissing is forbidden. Girls can wear only one pair of earrings. Boys are expected to open doors and pull out chairs for girls. Students who disobey get paddled.
"There was no 'time out' when I was growing up. My mother said 'move,' she meant 'now,'" said Hooker, 47, who argues that it's better to swat a kid and send him back to class five minutes later than have him spend a semester in "in-school suspension" and fall behind in reading.
Hooker markets his charter school as a "private school education at a public school price." He says he asked two questions before taking the job: Could he fire teachers? Could he use corporal punishment?
Paddling is a bit of a throwback, the most controversial practice of a self-professed "old-school" educator. New Jersey was the first state to ban corporal punishment in 1967, and its use has fallen steadily in the three decades since then, although 23 states, including Texas, still allow it.
Charter schools are public schools that were authorized by the Texas Legislature to foster innovation and offer options to parents not served by traditional public schools.
Teacher Nicole Savadin taught in the Bexar County Detention Center last year and visited public and private schools before signing up to teach speech here.
"It's kind of a nice mix of private and public school. The paddling — I love that," she said.
Despite the lingering threat of "Ole Thunder," the theatrical superintendent is clearly adored as much as his paddle is feared, and students flock around him for hugs between classes.
Ninth-grader Josh Talley came to the school in seventh grade, in part because his family attends the Family Praise Center, which founded the school.
Under Hooker, Talley said, "it got stricter. That's a good thing, considering I don't get disciplined on a regular basis."
Herald & News, Klamath Falls, Oregon, 20 September 2004
Happy anniversary at Roosevelt
School celebrates 75 years
By Holly Stork
Music and laughter, stories and students filled Roosevelt Elementary School Saturday night as alumni, family and friends celebrated the school's 75th anniversary.
The gala, which drew a crowd of more than 350 people showcased bands from every decade the school's been in session and included a barbecue supper. Hallways were lined with friends sharing handshakes and hugs amidst reviews of scrapbooks and yearbooks that filled rows of tables.
Alumni told of the pranks that compose Roosevelt lore.
Don Phelps of the Roosevelt class of 1939 presented the school with a special paddle commemorating one of his more vivid memories of his days at Roosevelt and Principal Carl W. Muender.
"I held the record for the most lickins' in one year ..." Phelps said. "I received this paddle with a plaque on it showing I received 14 swats in one school year - I actually think it was 16, but who's counting at that point?"
The paddle will go into the trophy case at Roosevelt's front entry - corporal punishment is a thing of the past.
Phelps is the brother of a past Roosevelt principal, Merland Phelps, who, to this day, still runs a safe neighborhoods program for the Roosevelt district and volunteers as a friendly face in the school's cafeteria.
Copyright © 2004 Herald and News. All Rights Reserved.
Daily American Republic, Poplar Bluff, Missouri, 22 September 2004
Twin Rivers board told school off to good start
By David Silverberg
BROSELEY -- New superintendent Andy Arbeitman and the Twin Rivers School District Board of Education are pleased with the smooth start to the new school year while they have been busy dealing with building projects, updated policies and new personnel.
For one hour prior to Tuesday night's meeting, the board traveled to Fisk and Qulin to see building improvements.
Board members approved the updated employee faculty/staff handbook for the 2004-2005 school year, including a change on the corporal punishment policy.
Arbeitman's recommendation to allow only building principals to utilize corporal punishment was accepted. Previously teachers also could paddle students.
"I recommend principals only for consistency," Arbeitman said. He noted parents can put their children on a no paddle list.
WHNT19.com, Huntsville, Alabama, 29 September 2004
Teacher Asked to Resign for Paddling Student
NewsChannel 19's Lisa Washington reports
The sun shone brightly Wednesday afternoon, just as it did four weeks ago at West Morgan High School. On September first, the temperature was in the mid-to-upper 80's. When a group of sixth graders were misbehaving, their three teachers took the students to the stadium to reprimand them.
When the sixth graders were brought to the stadium, they were told to have a seat an arm's length apart from other students, with their feet flat, hands in their laps, while their teachers lectured them about their behavior.
"One of them received a paddling, and that's what got them in trouble," says Kimbrell.
Because he paddled a student in front of his classmates, teacher Dustin Balch was asked to resign.
"You can't paddle a student with the entire class watching--even though they had their backs turned, that wasn't proper," adds Kimbrell.
Kimbrell says he talked to the two other West Morgan teachers about what happened.
"I just told 'em we couldn't do this anymore," he says.
Kimbrell says he regrets the incident, but says it wasn't cruel punishment for the kids to sit outside in the sun.
We understand they were outside between 25 and 45 minutes.
"I don't think being in the heat is going to hurt a child. If it did, they wouldn't have had them out there," says Kimbrell.
He believes what happened to Dustin Balch is unfortunate.
"I like Mr. Balch," says Kimbrell, "I just hate it happened to him, and I hate it happened to West Morgan."
Balch's resignation is effective January of 2005, but he will not return to the classroom. He has a medical excuse that will keep him out of school. In the meantime, a certified teacher from another system will teach Balch's students.
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Charlotte Observer, North Carolina, 30 September 2004
Panel reviews use of paddling
Some parents upset about schools' policy on corporal punishment
By Emily S. Achenbaum
Parents' complaints have prompted the school board's policy committee to re-examine the district's corporal punishment rules, though not initially in the light the parents may have hoped.
Schools' assistant superintendent Ed Davis said the policy committee recently asked him to research corporal punishment policies at other districts.
Davis said he'll be looking to see how those districts define corporal punishment, and what procedures they have in place. Davis said the request came after a Sept. 7 board meeting, when two parents spoke out against the district's policy.
The schools' policy states corporal punishment should be the last option for discipline. It says parents should be notified -- although notification is not required -- and that their consent will be highly recommended.
The punishment is almost always a few swipes with a paddle, Davis said. In 2002-03, corporal punishment was used 463 times in county schools, frequently at parents' request, school officials said. School staff who administer corporal punishment must write a statement justifying it.
One parent who spoke against the policy at the board meeting said she had no idea corporal punishment was still practiced in the schools until she read her children's school handbooks in August. Peggy Dean, a Weddington mother of three high-schoolers and one elementary student, is spearheading the local effort to abolish the policy.
"I was floored. I wouldn't have thought that (corporal punishment) goes on in this day and age," Dean said. "Using corporal punishment for `disrespect'? Is that a last resort? That's scary."
Dean said she hasn't found any data supporting corporal punishment as an effective discipline, but has found plenty stating it's harmful.
She is pleased her activism led the schools to re-examine the policy, but is concerned they're not looking into getting rid of it.
Davis said he's only researching other districts with corporal punishment, including Gaston County schools and Iredell-Statesville schools, with the goal of finding out how they apply it. He won't be looking at districts that have banned corporal punishment, as Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools did a decade ago, he said. Davis said he may look into why other schools banned corporal punishment, depending on the policy committee's requests.
The policy committee will then discuss Davis' findings, and bring them to the school board. Davis said he isn't sure how long the whole process will take.
KTRE.com (Channel 9 TV), Lufkin, Texas, 30 September 2004
Mother Concerned About Son's Paddling Punishment
While little Chris plays with his family, you would never guess this 4th grader might be in pain.
Chris' mother, Shelley Hall, said, "he started complaining that his butt still hurt. A little bit later he complained some more it was still hurting so about 5:15 PM I told my husband you ought to take a look, and when he looked we found the whelps on his butt."
Shelley says red marks were left behind after her son got a paddling at school. She was told Chris had an ongoing problem of not turning in his homework. That's why the high school principal dished out his punishment: two swats.
"I'm not saying he's perfect, I'm not saying he doesn't deserve a pop now and then. I'm saying that the school has no right to blister my son's butt," said Shelley.
Chris' mom doesn't want this punishment to happen again. But when she went to the elementary school to make that request, she got a surprising response from the Groveton superintendent. He told her they can spank students if they want to.
Shelley said, "come to find out that's lawful."
Groveton Superintendent Joe Driskell wouldn't talk to us on camera, but says all steps were followed in giving out the spanking. Driskell says the principal was just following corporal punishment regulations approved by the school board.
"I asked him point blank: 'is it acceptable to leave this kind of bruising on a child?' he said yes," said Shelley.
Shelley kept her kids home from school Thursday. She isn't sure if she'll let them go back.
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