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School CP - July 2006
The Leader-Call, Laurel, Mississippi, 15 July 2006
Paddling unruly behavior
By Nathan Martin
If Laurel School District Superintendent Dr. Glenn Magee gets his way, serial misbehaving students in Laurel pre-kindergarten through middle school may feel the disciplining bite of an old tool.
Due to a rise of undisciplined behavior in classrooms, corporal punishment may see a rebirth in the Laurel school district, pending the approval of the school board.
“We are considering implementing corporal punishment,” said Magee. “Discipline is an issue, and we've seen the rise of a sort of behaviors that cannot be encouraged and must be dealt with. Corporal punishment would be used in conjunction with all other discipline measures, and it would only be used as a last resort.”
Magee explained that the school district currently utilizes corporal punishment in the alternative branch of the Laurel School District, and that if the proposal were adopted, the policy dealing with corporal punishment would largely mirror the one in place at the alternative schools. That policy contains a series of qualifications which must be met before a child may be disciplined corporally.
“Corporal punishment shall be administered only after less stringent measures such as two or more warnings, counseling, parental conferences and other forms have failed to produce the desired results,” reads the policy. “Corporal punishment will be administered by use of a paddle applied to the buttocks in a controlled manner, within the bounds of moderation. Normally no more than three licks with the paddle will be administered at any one time.”
Though this policy may raise some concern, it is not an uncommon one in Jones County, as county schools and some private schools utilize the tool in all grades of schooling.
“We utilize corporal punishment as a last resort,” said Jones County School Superintendent Thomas Prine. “We try all other methods first, to get children to modify their behavior. This is not something we use on a child regularly, but it can be used in grades K-12.”
Laurel Christian School also uses corporal punishment as a means of discipline, but with a slightly different justification than county or city schools.
“We use it because it is a biblical admonition,” said Headmaster Rick Bartley. “That being said, we do not have to use it often. It is a last resort, and when we do use it, it is with parental consent, and in the presence of witnesses.”
As other schools continue to utilize this ancient tool in behavioral modification, Magee and other members of the Laurel School District are taking the steps to implement this in city schools.
“We are currently submitting a draft of our proposal to the board,” said Magee. “I do want to emphasize, though, that if this is implemented, it will be a last resort. We still believe that discipline at home is the most effective, but there is some behavior that is not addressed at home, and hopefully we can correct that.”
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Wise County Messenger, Decatur, Texas, 16 July 2006
Teachers get raise while taxes go down
By Christina Lane
Teachers are getting a pay increase,
homeowners are getting a tax decrease and the football field is
getting a new restroom and concession stand.
Revisions were approved to the student/parent handbook for the 2006-2007 school year. Among the changes are that topics will be listed in alphabetical order; the code of conduct will be a separate book bound within the handbook; three tardies will count as one absence; students who do not meet a satisfactory level of performance on exit-level tests can participate in graduation; and spanking or paddling will no longer be used as a form of discipline.
Buffalo News, New York State, 27 July 2006
Great teachers leave a lasting impression
By Lee Coppola
The obituary was inevitable but still, when it appeared, it was a surprise. My favorite high school teacher, the one who passed on lessons I remember today, 45 years later, had died at 91.
Most of us have had teachers who made a lasting impression. We credit them with helping mold us into what we are today, what we practice through life, what we hope to leave for others.
Mine was a priest, an Oblate of Mary Immaculate who taught at the now defunct Bishop Fallon High School. His death got me thinking about why certain teachers remain in our memory banks long after we've left their presence. Being in education for the past decade also has given me a first-hand look at how students relate to those who work to improve their minds.
The answer, I think, is not how well teachers educate their students about their subject matter, it's how they educate them. With discipline? With humor? With passion?
Father Robert Colfer did it with all three. He had a raucous laugh and twinkling Irish eyes that offset his stern demeanor when he summoned you to the front of the class to be paddled for some transgression. Yes, I said paddled.
Father Colfer kept a wooden paddle he fondly dubbed Freddie close at hand. "Do I detect a pony laugh," he'd bellow when someone tried to stifle a chortle during class. "Approach me," he'd beckon with index finger pointing to the culprit. "Assume the position," he'd order.
Those still in their seats would straighten to get a better view of their classmate leaning at the desk with palms down and butt waiting for the arrival of Freddie. The number of times Freddie met the backside depended on the severity of the transgression. That was Father Colfer the disciplinarian.
Father Colfer the humorist had a nickname for everyone - one more outrageous than the next. Mine was "Lila Lee," and he once told me that was the name of a stripper, although he didn't let on how he knew that.
His passion, as with all remembered teachers, came from his concern for his students. He wanted them to mature into morally strong adults, and to that end he prescribed as punishment writing on the blackboard a phrase that - perhaps because I wrote it so many times - still sticks in my cranium: "A young man, according to his ways, even when he is old, will not depart from them."
He also had advice about life. A person must know how to do three critical things, he often said - swim, type and operate a standard shift. Two of them, especially in the age of computers, still ring true.
Father Colfer taught English, Latin and religion, but I remember him most as the adviser to the high school newspaper. In essence, he was my first editor, although I realize he knew very little about newspapers. But he did know the English language, and it was by him that meticulous concern for the written word was drilled into me.
He also encouraged following your dreams. Mine was to become a reporter, and he made sure I was able to attend the annual high school Press Day at St. Bonaventure University so I could rub shoulders with real reporters. How ironic that soon I was a journalism student at St. Bonaventure, then a few years later one of the real reporters talking to high school students at Press Day, and now run the annual event from my perch in the dean's office.
Father Colfer got the ball rolling and taught the lessons that helped keep it rolling as the years sped by.
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