|www.corpun.com : Archive : 2006 : US Schools Mar 2006|
School CP - March 2006
The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, 18 March 2006
'Walkout' steps up for Latino history lesson
By Bill Goodykoontz
Near the beginning of Walkout, which chronicles the Chicano
student walkouts of 1968, you notice a sign in Sal Castro's
classroom. It reads, "If it's not worth saying in English,
it's not worth saying at all."
Like many Latino contributions to U.S. history, the walkouts are
little known and seldom mentioned. At the very least, Walkout
should help change that.
The Bakersfield Californian, 22 March 2006
Move stirs bad memories for Spanish speakers
By Leonel Martinez
In a California classroom almost 30 years ago, a white teacher paddles a Latino student in front of his classmates. The student's crime? Not joining a gang, starting a fight or using drugs, but speaking Spanish.
The paddling scene was from the HBO movie "Walkout," which chronicles the 1968 efforts of a group of students who organized a walkout to protest injustices in the East Los Angeles public school system.
Many people my age may have a hard time believing that only a few decades ago, some schools prohibited students from speaking Spanish. For my children, it seems impossible. But it happened.
So I took my wife, two children and 66-year-old mother to see the movie, which was screened for about 1,500 people at the Fox Theatre recently by the nonprofit Heritage of America Educational and Cultural Foundation. The movie was directed by actor/director Edward James Olmos.
For me, the movie was a glimpse into a strange past. Nobody ever warned me not to speak Spanish in school, and being bilingual always helped my career. But to catch a glimpse of a world where you could be punished for a friendly "Buenos días," I didn't have to look far.
"What did that scene remind you of?" I asked my mother, Consuelo Rodriguez, as she fixed herself a breakfast of scrambled eggs and potatoes the next morning. My mom, who works as a cafeteria aide, glanced at the stove and literally shuddered.
"If they heard anybody speak Spanish, they would take you to the office, and you would be in trouble," she said, as she remembered going to class at a south Texas elementary school. "They would either paddle us or they would take away our recess."
This hidden part of American history still doesn't show up in many textbooks, but it is well covered by "Walkout," which is scheduled to be broadcast on HBO for the next several weeks. It would be a good movie to watch with the family.
But be prepared. After the movie, your children may ask: Did schools really punish students for speaking another language in America?
Copyright © 2006 The Bakersfield Californian
The News Journal, New Castle/Wilmington, Delaware, 24 March 2006
Bill would allow spanking in schools
Measure introduced in House calls for parents to consent
By J.L. Miller and Patrick Jackson
DOVER -- Legislation that would allow school districts to permit corporal punishment if authorized by parents was introduced Thursday in the state House, but if it passes there it could take a licking in the Senate.
House Bill 376, sponsored by Millsboro Republican Rep. John C. Atkins, would allow local districts to decide whether to authorize spanking, which was outlawed by the General Assembly in 2003. Parents would have to provide written consent.
"It's a good idea because the local districts were asking for it," Atkins said, citing the Indian River School District as one that has expressed an interest.
Handing that option to local districts, Atkins said, "is local government at its best."
Atkins said he already has 18 yes votes in the House, where 21 votes would be needed to pass it. "We're working toward 11 over there," he said, referring to the majority needed to pass a bill in the Senate.
If the bill does pass the House, Sen. David Sokola, D-Newark North, has the power to impose a "desk drawer veto" by never bringing the measure before his Senate Education Committee.
But Sokola, who opposes corporal punishment, said he has no problem having his committee debate the bill.
"I think it would be defeated," he said. The legislation that banned corporal punishment is "a bill that passed both houses not so long ago by fairly comfortable margins, and I don't think things have changed that much since we did that," Sokola said.
The bill also faces opposition from the Delaware State Education Association, which represents the state's teachers.
"DSEA has a resolution opposing what people call corporal punishment ... as a way to effect discipline," association spokeswoman Pam Nichols said.
Nichols stressed that the teachers union appreciates legislators' willingness to address the issue of disciplining disruptive students, but that the association feels corporal punishment is the wrong method.
Copyright ©, The News Journal.
Cape Gazette, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, 24 March 2006
Corporal punishment not likely in Cape schools
By Bridin Reynolds
The "spanking bill," legislation to allow the return of corporal punishment to Delaware schools, is headed to the House Education Committee for consideration this week.
As prime sponsor, Rep. John Atkins, R-Millsboro, has a front row seat for the debate
"I am taking heat on this, but I am willing to take it. It is a mandate my district believes in," said Atkins, whose district is Indian River School District.
Atkins attributes his motivation for penning the controversial bill to a recent dinner with school board officials and legislators. "It was said that the worst thing ever done was removing paddling from schools," said Atkins. "There were enough nods all around for me to draft this legislation," he said.
The bill, HB 376, is evoking emotion across the state, but Atkins said he intends to pursue its passage and asserts that Delaware public schools will benefit if teachers and administrators could invoke physical punishment to discipline.
"I have an 11-year-old son in school and if he were disrupting the learning process or disrespecting his teachers, I would not have a problem with him being paddled," said Atkins.
In Cape Henlopen School District, Superintendent George Stone said even if the law permitted corporal punishment, he doubts that the Cape school board would vote in favor of reinstating it.
In 2003, Gov. Ruth Ann Minner signed legislation barring corporal punishment.
Stone said most parents are responsible and when a school has a problem, school staff members appropriately discipline the child without physical contact.
"Just from a legal standpoint, I just cannot recommend it," said Stone.
"A lot of the students that would fall under the consequence of corporal punishment are kids that have a lot of other issues going on," said Stone.
Under the tenets of the bill, parents or guardians would have to give permission to individual school districts for children to be subjected to corporal punishment.
Allowing corporal punishment runs counter to the views of lawmakers in most states as 22 states legalize some form of corporal punishment while 28 have banned the practice. Atkins, however, said many teachers and administrators feel just the threat of paddling is a deterrent.
"Now the kids who continuously misbehave get suspension and are out of the classroom for three days - that is exactly what they want," he said.
Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Mississippi, 25 March 2006
The P-word best sums up Rebels' new coach
By Rick Cleveland
OXFORD — "Passion" was the word of the day here Friday when Ole Miss named Andy Kennedy as the school's 20th head basketball coach.
We'll get to that, but first a story from 24 years ago. Andy Kennedy was a 14-year-old at Winston Academy in his first year of high school basketball. Les Triplett, now the activities director of the Mississippi Private Schools Association, was 26 years old and in his first year as a head basketball coach.
"Andy was already 6 feet, 4 inches tall and he knew how to play," Triplett remembered Friday. "Man oh man, could he shoot the basketball."
With Triplett coaching and Kennedy shooting, Winston went on to win a state championship - not that there weren't some trying times on the way there.
Once, Triplett disciplined Kennedy for being disrespectful. Triplett actually told the gangly kid, who lived for basketball, that he had to turn in his uniform, that he was off the team.
Kennedy "cried his eyes out," Triplett said. "He'd have just as soon died as give up that uniform. He told me he'd do anything for a second chance."
Triplett's punishment was a paddling. "I broke my paddle on that young'un," Triplett said.
Then, he gave Kennedy his uniform back. Then, he put him in the lineup that night.
"And then," Triplett said, laughing, "he went out and put up 48 points. I have never seen an athlete more inspired than Andy was that night. He was an incredible competitor. I'm telling you, that boy loved basketball with a passion that is hard to describe."
© 2006 The Clarion-Ledger
Texarkana Gazette, Texas, 26 March 2006
Schools moving away from use of corporal punishment
By Ashley Gardner
The days of school discipline being limited to a choice between five licks or expulsion are long gone.
Schools, whether private, Christian or public, are no longer leaning toward corporal punishment as the end-all-be-all in discipline.
School officials from both sides of the state line and Trinity Christian School say they have found more inventive concepts to teach right from wrong instead of just punishing mistakes.
"I don't think it's effective," Becky Kesler, a human resource manager at Texarkana, Ark., School District, said of corporal punishment. "Most of the principals do not use that. We try to stay away from that as much as possible."
Her experience in the classroom and in school administration has given her a unique perspective.
"I for one do not believe in corporal punishment. I was a classroom teacher for years and principal for the last two years at Union (School)," Kesler said. "I am one of the few you'll find that's strictly opposed to corporal punishment. I just don't think it works."
TASD discipline follows a well-outlined progression of steps that take the guesswork out of what a child's punishment will be.
"We follow the progression. It might be for younger kids a time-out during recess or fun activities," Kesler said. "We may make them write sentences or write definitions. They would rather be spanked than write definitions any day.
"If it were something that was very severe, I would send them to ISS (In-School Suspension) a lot of times."
Kesler said counseling is an alternative.
"Here's the thing. If you can counsel with someone and talk to them and figure out why they did it ... I strongly believe if you can make them stop and talk about it and think about what the consequences might be, it really makes a stronger impact," she said.
Dr. Larry Sullivan, superintendent at Texarkana, Texas, Independent School District, said corporal punishment still has a place in school discipline. But he said it doesn't work for the kids with the most severe behavioral issues.
"When I'm working with a child, I'm trying to teach them a better concept. With most kids, chances are a pop on the bottom was all it took for a child to do what they already knew they should do ... it's a reminder," he said. "But some children may not have those skills. They may not know how to act around people ... and corporal punishment won't help them.
"Corporal punishment works good for good kids but it doesn't work well with non-compliant kids. The investment in discipline takes more time," Sullivan said.
As for how often corporal punishment is used on the Texas side, it varies from campus to campus.
"I have principals who use it more than others and I have some who don't use it at all because they've found a better way," Sullivan said.
There's another method of discipline Sullivan prefers.
"Isolation is a very powerful discipline tool but it only works if you take the time to teach," he said.
Trinity Christian School, a private school, doesn't have a much different concept for discipline.
"Corporal punishment is a discipline alternative from the first grade up, but it's rarely utilized ... If it's utilized at home, parents prefer it to be consistent with the way they're raising their child," said Greg Jones, Trinity's superintendent. "For our purposes, if there is another way of modifying behavior we would prefer to use that instead of corporal punishment.
"In education, in all ages, if you can start off with a system of rewards and discipline alternatives, the rewards help solve a lot of problems. ... An organized system of consequences for behaviors often keeps it (bad behavior) from escalating," Jones said. "In the classroom where discipline is managed well, there is going to be a rewards system. That's preventative and redirects behavior before there's a problem."
Sweetwater Reporter, Texas, 27 March 2006
Roscoe teacher contracts renewed
By Kimberly Gray
Upon a recommendation from Principal Frank Young, the Roscoe ISD Board of Trustees voted to renew professional contracts for teachers for the 2006-07 school year. This would give all teachers on the list a new one-year contract.
The board also unanimously agreed to update the student handbook to include a notification of parents after administering corporal punishment. That means school administration, staff or faculty involved in the situation will attempt to contact a parent or guardian either in person, by phone or by mail when corporal punishment is administered to their child.
Young stated that he would have no problem contacting a parent when a child is given corporal punishment and agreed that contacting the parent or guardian as soon as possible might help deter similar future discipline problems with the same student due to more parental involvement.
P.O. Box 750, Sweetwater, Texas 79556 Phone: 325-236-6677 Copyright © 2006 Sweetwater Reporter
Hood County News, Granbury, Texas, 27 March 2006
'He was a man among men'
"He was a man among men, and all who knew and worked with Jim Best looked up to him" is how John Brawner, a retired Granbury school administrator, described Jim Best. Jim Best, 78, Christian, teacher, disciplinarian, bus driver and family man, died Friday, March 24, 2006 in Fort Worth.
Best was a native of Mexia, born there Dec. 11, 1927, the son of Charles Randolph and Margaret Best.
He was a teacher, disciplinarian, and lead bus driver for the Granbury Independent School District. He taught shop and mechanical drawing for 31 years and drove buses 38 years.
The big man demanded and got discipline in the classroom, on his buses and in his home. He and Mrs. Best were parents of three sons who knew the same discipline as students. He was also involved as an adult leader in activities with his boys.
One ex-student told Best's son, Gary, "Your dad touched me three ways in school -- with his head, his heart and his board."
Brawner recalled that Best was so good at bringing rowdy children under control on daily bus routes, that he became the trouble shooter driver, switching to any problem route.
As the years go by, the paddle stories grow, but Crossland said in his 12 years as principal he never paddled a boy who did not say, "Mr. Best's was better."
Best played football one semester at Texas Tech, then earned a bachelor's degree from Northeastern, Okla., where he also played football. He received his master's degree at Sam Houston State University.
He served in the Navy 1950-1954. He played on the San Diego Navy team and later coached a boxing team and basketball team to Seventh Fleet championships.
wwaytv3.com (WWAY-TV NewsChannel 3), Wilmington, N. Carolina, 30 March 2006
Parents ask for school paddling to stop
NORTH CAROLINA -- It's a little known fact, but corporal punishment in North Carolina public schools is still alive and well. Thousands of students a year are paddled for misbehaving and a growing number of parents and teachers say the practice needs to stop.
He's a 12-year-old boy who was paddled for misbehaving at Rowland Middle School in Robeson County. The child was literally black and blue after his teacher was finished, and because of cases like his, a growing number of parents are asking for paddling in schools to stop.
Peggy Dean said, "A parent who takes an open hand and swats their child's backside -- that's a spanking. When an adult in the schools picks up a wooden plank and hits a child, that is such a different action.
Describing paddling as antiquated, demeaning and ineffective, Peggy Dean recently accompanied the student to speak before North Carolina legislatures, asking for a statewide ban on paddling in public schools. About 70 percent of the state school districts still allow it, including Columbus, Onslow and Robeson County. Brunswick and New Hanover Counties do not.
New Hanover County School Board member Steve Bilzi said, "I think it's stone age. It absolutely has no place whatsoever in a modern society -- that we think we can use violence to teach nonviolence."
Legislation introduced last year didn't pass. There's still a lot of resistance from people who say paddling went on when they were coming up, and they turned out just fine.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2006 WorldNow and WWAY. All Rights Reserved.
THE ARCHIVE index
www.corpun.com Main menu page
Copyright © C. Farrell 2006
Page updated: October 2006