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School CP - August 2019

Corpun file 26814 at

Alexander City Outlook, Alabama, 1 August 2019

City, county school systems still use corporal punishment

By Gabrielle Jansen
Staff writer

Both Alexander City and Tallapoosa County schools still utilize corporal punishment as a last resort and used it last year.

According to the Alexander City School System, about 60 students, or 2% of the student population, received corporal punishment last year; 57 students, or 1.9%, received corporal punishment in the 2017-18 school year.

The numbers have been declining, about 141, or 4.7% of the school student population, received corporal punishment in 2016-17 and about 261 students, making up 8.7% of the population, received corporal punishment in the 2015-16 year.

While there hasn't been conversation about getting rid of corporal punishment from the Alexander City Schools Code of Conduct, superintendent Dr. Keith Lankford said it was brought up during the school system's leadership retreat this year.

"It's something that we'll further discuss throughout the course of this year," Lankford said. "I think the state board may even look at taking corporal punishment, as we may be one of 15 states that are still using corporal punishment."

The Alexander City Schools Code of Conduct states no student is required to submit to corporal punishment.

"Parents can of course opt out and request not for them to use corporal punishment but we use that as a last resort," Lankford said.

Tallapoosa County Schools used corporal punishment 143 times last year, according to director of community and public relations Casey Davis. Corporal punishment was used 133 times in the 2017-18 school year, 127 times in the 2016-17 year and 115 times in the 2015-16 school year.

The 10-year average of corporal punishment in Tallapoosa County Schools is 124.4, according to data from Davis.

"There are specific steps you have to take and the first step is the parent has to agree to it or the guardian or whoever is responsible for making the educational decisions for that particular child," Tallapoosa County Schools superintendent Joe Windle said.

The school board has not recently discussed getting rid of corporal punishment, according to Windle.

Both school systems' handbooks state corporal punishment is a last resort after attempts to modify student behavior. Parents can write a request to exempt their child from corporal punishment and give an alternative punishment acceptable to the school's principal.

According to Alexander City's code of conduct, if the alternative is acceptable but ineffective, corporal punishment can be reinstated with or without the parent's consent.

Both systems' handbooks specify the punishment must be done by an administrator and is witnessed by a certified school staff member. The punishment must be done out of view from other students.

Corpun file 26815 at, University, Oxford, Mississippi, 6 August 2019

Lafayette County Removes Corporal Punishment from School District

By Alyssa Schnugg
News Editor

The Lafayette County School District Board approved a request Monday from the administration of its schools to remove corporal punishment as a disciplinary action option from the district.

In June, the board reviewed the request submitted by Assistant Superintendent Patrick Robinson on behalf of the school district's principals and other administration members.

Robinson said the administrators of the LCSD wanted to remove the option of using corporal punishment on students.

While it's still allowed by state law, Robinson said administrators feel it's ineffective and there is a concern of liability.

Corporal punishment was already not allowed to be used on students who have disabilities and have an IEP -- Individualized Education Program, or a temporary disability -- or a 504 plan. If it's used on a student with one of those education plans, the district could have been at risk for a lawsuit.

The high school hasn't used corporal punishment as a disciplinary option for at least 10 years, according to Robinson, and it was used "about eight or nine times" in the elementary schools.

Other forms of allowed disciplinary actions include in-school suspension, detention and out-of-school suspension.

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