|www.corpun.com : Archive : 1976 to 1995 : US Schools Sep 1978|
School CP - September 1978
State Times, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 22 September 1978
Principal Reprimanded for Paddling
By Linda Lightfoot
A school principal who paddled a nine-year-old boy has been reprimanded by East Baton Rouge Schools Superintendent Clyde Lindsey for violating the school board's discipline policy in two respects.
The principal, Paul Poydras, apologized Thursday to school board members for the incident, but the guardian of the child who was spanked said Poydras should be removed from his post at Hollywood Elementary School.
She said she is contemplating legal action against the principal and possibly against the board.
After hearing from Mrs. Regina Mumphrey, the child's guardian, school board members gave their approval for the boy to attend school in a neighboring school district.
"It's a rotten school system if this goes on," Mrs. Mumphrey said, saying that her child will not attend Hollywood as long as Poydras is the principal.
"He shouldn't be allowed to be a principal," she said. "If the school system can't do anything, we'll go as high as we feel we have to."
Mrs. Mumphrey, who asked to appear before the board, displayed photographs of the child's buttocks which she said were taken some 12 hours after he was paddled.
She asked board members if they would allow the principal to remain on the job "after he gave the child a whipping like that."
Lindsey said Poydras had violated board policy in two respects: spanking a child after his guardian had sent a note to school saying "do not paddle", and paddling a group of boys in each other's presence, rather than in private.
Lindsey said Poydras had detained 15 boys in connection with a fighting incident and have given 14 of them four licks each with a paddle. One boy got one lick. School board policy allows a maximum of five whacks, as long as parents give permission and it's done in private.
Lindsey said he reviewed the policy with Poydras and put a leter about the incident in the principal's personnel folder. The superintendent said he has never had any other similar complaint about the principal.
"I've taken the administrative procedures that are called for," the superintendent said.
Board member Eileen Armstrong assured Mrs. Mumphrey that the fact that Lindsey put such a note in Poydras' folder "is a very serious matter."
Poydras says he believes that board members would have acted as he did if confronted with a similar situation. He said the slip on which Mrs. Mumphrey indicated that she did not want the boy paddled was with the child's teacher and he did not go get the slip before punishing the children.
Mrs. Armstrong said the reason the board has a policy of requiring that slips be checked is to prevent paddlings from being administered "in the heat of anger."
"It wasn't in the heat of anger," Poydras said. "I saw it as the most effective form of punishment."
Board president Bridger Eglin apologized to Mrs. Mumphrey.
"I'm sorry our policies were not followed and that your son was disciplined in a manner you do not approve of," Eglin said.
Los Angeles Times, 28 September 1978
Principal Who Spanked 71 Boys Loses Position
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A principal who gave every sixth-grade boy in his school three whacks with a paddle because none would confess to writing an obscene word on a bathroom door has been reassigned to an office job.
Principal Willie Young was removed from the post he held two years at West Jacksonville Sixth Grade Center and will begin work today in the testing and evaluation division of the Jacksonville public schools system.
Parents of most of the boys who had been spanked were apparently satisfied with the reassignment. But one father, T.C. Harrell, said, "I think he owes a personal apology to every kid."
Supt. Herb Sang said Young had admitted he gave each of the 71 boys three whacks on the bottom with a paddle Monday.
"His motives were all right. His procedures were bad," Sang said. "He broke school board policy."
The superintendent said Young had used a form of mass punishment "earlier this year when he made a large number of girls run laps around the track because someone threw toilet paper in a bathroom. He learned the guilty on then."
Young has tenure as a teacher and could be fired only through a complex dismissal procedure.
THE ARCHIVE index
Country files: Corporal punishment in US schoolswww.corpun.com Main menu page
© C. Farrell