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School CP - October 2006
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock, 5 October 2006
Court: School official not abuser
The Associated Press
The Arkansas Court of Appeals on Wednesday said an assistant elementary school principal should not be placed on a registry of child abusers after spanking a child while disciplining him.
In January 2005, school administrators gave the boy's parents the option, after he was in a fight, of sending him home on a three-day suspension or corporal punishment. The parents chose corporal punishment.
They watched Shelly Holman spank the boy with a paddle about 2½ inches wide and two feet long, court documents show.
The 90-pound boy received three swats. He did not cry out during the punishment, documents show.
However, the boy's mother took photographs of bruises on the boy's buttocks 90 minutes after the paddling. The state Department of Human Services wanted Holman placed on the Central Registry of Child Abusers.
An administrative law judge initially put the assistant principal at Berryville Elementary School on the registry.
The Court of Appeals agreed Wednesday with the circuit judge, saying bruising alone cannot be used as a test for abuse. In a decision written by Chief Judge John Mauzy Pittman, the court also pointed to the boy's "candid" testimony in court, where he described the pain as "a sting."
"It hurt a couple of minutes afterwards but that's all," the boy said.
Copyright © 2001-2006 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved.
Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, 7 October 2006
Bullies Deserve a Spanking
There have been many suggestions on how to stop school bullying. Unfortunately, none of them will work. Why? Because many parents do not discipline their own children and do not want anyone touching their little "darlings."
I believe the only solution to be reintroduction of corporal punishment. Participating parents would sign an affidavit of authority for all educators to use supervised corporal punishment in view of a quorum of students to discipline bullies.
Augusta Chronicle, Georgia, 8 October 2006
Some small area school systems use the paddle
By Greg Gelpi
When it comes to keeping children in line, many smaller school systems, including Burke County, turn to the paddle.
Although it cut back drastically, Burke County still ranked among the leaders in the state last school year for dishing out corporal punishment. It did so more than 600 times to punish pupils who misbehaved, according to Georgia Department of Education data. The county is also the 10th worst in the state for the rate of discipline problems.
Burke County uses corporal punishment more frequently than other area school systems. Richmond County had 11 instances of corporal punishment last school year, and Columbia County had none, according to the state department.
Seventeen of the top 25 school systems issuing corporal punishment were systems of fewer than 5,000 pupils. According to state records, 113 school systems administered corporal punishment last year, with Laurens County, a system of about 6,300 pupils, reporting the most incidents with 3,077.
The number of school systems paddling their pupils was down from 118 a year earlier.
"Principals I've talked to would say it's effective," said James Hyder, an attorney for the Burke County Board of Education, adding that the paddling itself might not be as bad as the experience of getting paddled.
But others said the verdict is still out on the punishment's effectiveness.
Dr. Sabina Widner, of the Augusta State University Department of Psychology, said corporal punishment in and of itself isn't harmful to children, but it's important to balance it with heavy doses of positive reinforcement.
"If you're relying on punishment alone to have a well-behaved child, you're likely not going to be effective," she said.
Dr. Linda Mitchell, of ASU's College of Education, said research on the issue is all across the board. Her thoughts are that it could be effective in a "limited basis" in elementary school, although she has "serious reservations" about its effectiveness in middle schools.
Mr. Hyder said the Burke County school board has a policy in line with state law that establishes guidelines for when and how corporal punishment may be administered.
For instance, the punishment shouldn't be "excessive or unduly severe," the policy states. Rules also dictate that corporal punishment can't be used as the "first line" of punishment unless pupils have been forewarned that specific behavior would result in corporal punishment or the behavior was so "antisocial or disruptive in nature as to shock the conscience."
And even when pupils are paddled, it is done by an administrator with a witness present, Mr. Hyder said. Parents can also opt out of the corporal punishment policy.
The number of times corporal punishment was used in area school systems:
Source: Georgia Department of Education
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