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School CP - April 2011

Corpun file 23231

ABC News logo (KTRE9-TV), Lufkin, Texas, 5 April 2011

Lufkin ISD reacts to paddling incident at Brookhollow Elementary

By Morgan Thomas

Roy KnightLufkin ISD's Superintendent Roy Knight

(KTRE) -- Last week, a Brookhollow Elementary mom reported that she was furious since her son had been spanked twice by the principal. She says the school did not have her consent to use corporal punishment on the fifth grader. In response, LISD's Superintendent Roy Knight is not making any apologies.

"We don't paddle often. We don't do it light-heartedly," said Knight.

That's LISD's position on corporal punishment in schools. Knight says there is a place for paddling.

"It can be a real effective method but it's not for all kids and we don't do it without permission from a guardian," said Knight.

Last week, Valerie Lockhart reported her fifth grade son had been paddled twice over a forgotten book. Even though the mom checked "no" on the corporal punishment consent form.

V. Lockhart Valerie Lockhart reports son was spanked without consent

"I asked who paddled my son? I asked three times. The third time the principal came from the back and said I did," said Lockhart.

Knight says the law prevents him from commenting on specific cases of discipline.

"What I can tell you is we have never, ever in this district paddled a child for failure to turn in a library book," said Knight.

In response to the corporal punishment consent form, Knight was not specific.

"In some cases, we have conflicting permission on paddling children," said Knight.

For example, LISD has one form for in-school punishment, and another for after-school activities.

Knight emphasized that spanking is a state approved - board approved method of punishment. And there's no plan to change the policy. Opponents of corporal punishment are flooding Knight's mail with complaints and pictures of alleged abuse.

school entrance

"The folks who jump on the child abuse wagon and begin to show pictures of naked behinds causes me to wonder if they just don't enjoy seeing pictures of naked behinds because I'm getting a lot of those right now," said Knight.

For now, spanking will remain in public schools. Knight reassures parents, it's always a last resort.

Texas is one of only 20 states that still allows corporal punishment in public schools. That could change, however, if state law makers pass a house bill than would ban paddling in Texas school districts.

© 2011 KTRE. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 23234

Clovis News Journal, New Mexico, 6 April 2011

Governor signs bill to ban corporal punishment

By Alisa Boswell


New Mexico public schools can no longer spank or paddle students to discipline them under a legislation signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Susana Martinez.

New Mexico joined 30 other states and the District of Columbia in banning corporal punishment in schools, according to the Center for Effective Discipline, a Columbus, Ohio-based group against corporal punishment.

"The decision on whether or not to use corporal punishment on a child is one that is best left to a parent," Martinez said.

Only 36 of New Mexico's 89 school districts allow corporal punishment.

Clovis schools Superintendent Terry Myers said although the Clovis schools rarely exercise corporal punishment, he disagrees with Gov. Martinez' decision to ban it.

"It takes away from the choice of the parents in how they want their kids disciplined," Myers said. "That's not a good thing. It needs to be left up to individual school districts to decide."

Myers said Clovis schools only exercise this form of punishment in situations where it will keep a child from being suspended from school and only if with parents' permission.

"Children need to be in the classroom and not in an office or sent home as punishment," he said. "We're a little bit dismayed that we don't have that tool anymore."

Portales Municipal Schools Superintendent Randy Fowler said corporal punishment was included in their school policy, but will be removed.

"We try to do what is required through state statute and this is just another requirement," Fowler said. "We don't really have a choice in that."

Fowler said he did not care to comment with his own thoughts on the subject, but the Portales school district would do what is necessary to follow state law.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© Copyright 2010 Freedom Communications. All Rights Reserved.

Corpun file 23274


The Town Talk, Alexandria, Louisiana, 21 April 2011

Principals must file a checklist when using corporal punishment

By Warren Hayes

Ruby Smith
Ruby Smith, Child Welfare and Attendance director for the Rapides Parish School District, told members of the Disciplinary Policy Review Committee that principals now must file a monthly report on corporal punishment in their schools./ Tia Owens-Powers

Corporal punishment is here to stay in Rapides Parish public schools, and members of the Disciplinary Policy Review Committee on Wednesday discussed ways parents can inform a principal if they don't want their children paddled for infractions.

"Corporal punishment is an acceptable discipline procedure by law ... We try and use it as little as possible," said Ruby Smith, the Rapides Parish School District's director of child welfare and attendance. "When I was a child in school, corporal punishment worked like butter on toast. I receive few calls from parents saying that they don't want their child to receive corporal punishment."

Louisiana House Resolution No. 167 was passed last year that requires principals to fill out a "Corporal Punishment Incident Checklist."

"Principals will send the checklist to the (School Board office), and once a month, it will be sent to the state Department of Education," Smith said. "Our first reporting was due in Baton Rouge on the 11th of April, and principals will have to turn one in every month, regardless if they have an incident or not. The officials in Baton Rouge will probably do some study on the checklist."

Parents who wish to exclude their children from corporal punishment must send a written statement to the principal. The statement will be kept on file.

According to policy, a paddle made of wood, with no holes or splinters, can be used for corporal punishment. It can't exceed 20 inches in length, one-fourth inch in thickness and 3 inches in width, and should have round edges and corners.


Allen R. Bozeman, the district's assistant superintendent of administration, said some form of discipline will take place if paddling doesn't occur.

"Parents always had the right to say that they don't want their child paddled. We make the policies to determine what a parent can do if they don't want their child paddled," Bozeman said.

"Forms are sent home at the beginning of the school year that parents can sign if they don't want the child paddled. It's not that much corporal punishment going on. We are not trying to beat kids, but just discipline them."

Smith said the court system has taken discipline out of the home.

"Parents are scared of being reported for child abuse that they can't discipline their kids at home," she said. "Paddling is not child abuse, but good firm discipline. Sometimes the only discipline kids get is when they are in the classrooms."

In other action, the committee determined that cyberbullying and bullying are student infractions and will be listed as infractions in the student-policy handbook next year.

"It's a big problem. We've had more complaints about bullying this year than the whole 40 years I've been in the school system," Smith said. "It exists mostly among the girls in the schools. We have some small kids who are bullied by the larger kids in high school that ride the same bus."

Corpun file 23279

ABC News logo (KODE12-TV), Joplin, Missouri, 28 April 2011

Spanking in School: How much is too much?

By Morgan Schutters

WEBB CITY, Mo. -- Schools in Missouri are still allowed to spank kids, but few schools still use the corporal punishment option.

As Action 12's Morgan Schutters explains, Webb city school leaders say some students prefer it.

Toby Bottom, the Associate Superintendent of Webb City Schools says, "I've been in the business more than 30 years and its nothing like it used to be."

But corporal punishment -- spanking a child, is still allowed in the state of Missouri.

And in Webb City schools teachers say kids actually prefer "spanks" to detention for punishment.

"There is a line every Tuesday and Thursday at the office for swats."

Students can choose a "spanking" for discipline at least twice a semester.

The head principal or 3 assistant principals administer the "spankings."

A man or woman spanks depending on the gender of student. School policy requires a principal and witness to be in the room with the student.

"They use a wooden paddle to do that, remove stuff from their pockets, put their hands on the desk so they couldn't stop the swats, then the swats are administered."

The option is available instead of detention for kids who might have a job after school, or not be able to find a ride home.

But is spanking "too much?"

"They consider is it a tiny girl that's getting swats or a 200 pound boy."

School officials say their goal with spanking in high school is to give students an option; 3 swats or 3 hours of detention. It is not a required punishment for students.

"I grew up in the era of corporal punishment at home and at school, but nowadays parents have different standards and discipline policies," Bottom says.

Webb city is one of the only schools in the area to still use corporal punishment.

But school authorities must first have permission via phone or note from parents.

"It's a the child and parents choice," Bottom says.

Some still think other discipline is a better option.

"I don't believe a 5 minute punishment for whatever they've done is necessarily going to stop or curb the problem."

"I don't believe its right because I think they should have to sit through detention and go through that," Webb City High School Senior Sonora Drake says.

"A full detention where they have to be away from their friends not texting or on the computer might serve as a better punishment."

Copyright © 1998 - 2011 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved.


TV news report (1 minute 38 seconds) from local TV station KODE12 (28 April 2011) of which the above is a modified text version. A Webb City Schools official is briefly interviewed, as also a student and an unidentified staff member.


IMPORTANT: Copyright in this video material rests with the original copyright holders. This brief excerpt is reproduced under the "fair use" doctrine EXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window for private, non-profit, historical research and education purposes only. It must not be redistributed or republished in any commercial context.

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