corpunWorld Corporal Punishment Research

ruler   :  Archive   :  2005   :  US Schools Apr 2005



School CP - April 2005

Corpun file 15446


Dallas Morning News, Texas, 1 April 2005

Paddling stopped by DISD

Trustees vote down policy, 7-0; uniforms OK'd through 8th grade

By Toya Lynn Stewart
The Dallas Morning News


Paddling is out in the Dallas school district. Uniforms are in.

Dallas school trustees voted Thursday to end corporal punishment and to mandate uniforms for students through the eighth grade.

The trustees' 7-0 vote to end paddling came with little discussion. Trustee Hollis Brashear was absent during the vote, and trustee Lew Blackburn was present but did not vote. The policy change went into effect immediately.

Trustee Ron Price, who supports paddling, said the district had successfully provided alternative methods of discipline.

"I can support this action item and do away with corporal punishment," Mr. Price said before voting.

The 7-0 decision to mandate uniforms for nearly 120,000 students came with a bit more discussion.

Mr. Price urged his colleagues to support the move to mandate uniforms. He told them that while having uniforms wouldn't fix everything that's ailing Dallas schools, it was a step forward.


Corpun file 15445

Marietta Times, Ohio, 1 April 2005

Two local districts punish by paddling

By Jessica Burchard

The two school districts in Washington County that utilize paddling as a means of school discipline for several years report few instances of physical discipline in their schools.

Fort Frye Local School District reported seven instances of paddling with six students and Wolf Creek Local School District reported no incidents of paddling for the 2003-04 school year.

The Ohio Board of Education recently reported the numbers of corporal punishment incidents in Ohio schools. Marietta, Belpre, Frontier and Warren school districts had no incidents because they do not allow it.

Western Local School District in Pike County leads the state with a total of 146 reports of paddling for 79 students.

Fort Frye Superintendent Bob Heinlein said the district uses physical discipline sparingly.

"We consider it a last resort. Obviously, the parents can opt out of it," said Heinlein. "If parents don't want their kids to receive corporal discipline, they just have to send in a form."

Fort Frye schools send home information about corporal discipline in their student handbooks at the beginning of every school year. The handbook explains that teachers and school principals may use paddling to discipline students in certain situations. Most students are disciplined with warnings, detentions and suspensions.

"We're never proud of corporal discipline. It's just a deterrent," said Heinlein. "We have a seventh through 12th grade high school and that's where most of our corporal discipline is used."

Heinlein said exact information on all seven paddlings was unavailable at this time.

The district has four elementary schools and one high school.

One parent said making sure parents were informed about the usage of corporal discipline was necessary for its successful use.

"From a parental standpoint, I think as long as the parents are aware of it and know what's going on, it's OK," said Carol Wharff, mother of a 2-year-old boy who will attend Marietta City school. "I'm not a believer in it, but I got paddled, and I turned out fine."

Wharff said it's up the parents to decide what's appropriate for their children and to either change school districts or speak with administrators if they have any issues with the disciplinary action offered.

Wolf Creek schools have found the paddling statute a good idea, but have had little cause to use it.

"The parents pushed for the paddling to be reinstated. We had some kids who were trying to get away with everything," said David Semon, a Wolf Creek school board member.

The district reinstated paddling at the beginning of the 2000-01 school year after choosing to end it in 1994 when the state gave all schools the chance to ban it. Ohio is one of 28 states that doesn't enforce a complete ban on corporal discipline in schools, but is the only state that bans corporal punishment unless local school boards vote to allow it.

The Wolf Creek School Board had discussed reinstating corporal discipline since 1998 and voted unanimously to do so in May 2000.

Semon said the district informs the parents of all behavioral problems prior to taking any disciplinary action.

"When something goes wrong, we call the parents," said Semon. "They (parents) have the right to tell us not to discipline their student."

Semon also said most of the time issues are resolved through a talk with the principal about the incident.

The district is the smallest in the county with one elementary and one high school and a total of 682 students.

At least one school administrator sees physical discipline as an ineffective way to discipline students and change their behavior.

Corpun file 15508

Anderson Independent-Mail, South Carolina, 5 April 2005

School birthday spankings no longer tolerated

By Crystal Boyles

Birthday spankings are a thing of the past and are not condoned by local school districts, officials said Tuesday.

A recent incident in Hart County sparked action there after a parent complained that her daughter received a birthday spanking against the girl's wishes during a physical education class at her elementary school. Superintendent Nancy Clark since has sent a letter to all schools prohibiting such spankings.

Separate investigations by the Hart County Sheriff's Office and assistant schools superintendent Glorianne Patterson cleared South Hart Elementary coach Joey Rider of any wrongdoing.

"This was a fun kind of thing that obviously wasn't fun and we aren't going to do it anymore," Mrs. Clark said, calling the birthday spanking an "ill-advised action" witnessed by about 50 students and several teacher's aides. She said the coach is truly sorry.

In Franklin County, assistant superintendent Dan Stroud said he didn't know if the school system had a policy on birthday spanking, but it does have one against spanking as a disciplinary measure.

"My thoughts would probably be that it's just not a good idea in today's climate," he said.

In similar fashion, the Elbert County school system doesn't have a specific policy against birthday spankings, but it does have a very strict corporal punishment policy that's written in the student handbook, Superintendent Wallace Edwards said.

If a parent has any objections to actions, he or she can submit a request to the school system and an action, change or disciplinary measure would be taken from there, he said.

"We don't participate in that," Mr. Edwards said after double-checking with four elementary school principals. "I hope, in fact, I instructed (principals) not to (allow spankings) if anybody did, but they knew of no one who did."

Habersham County schools are the same, with a 15-year-old board policy that prohibits corporal punishment, Superintendent Judy Forbes said. They have had no such reported incidents recently, she said.

"I don't think we've had anything like that in years and years," Ms. Forbes said.

Stephens County schools are on spring break this week, and officials were unavailable for comment.

Copyright 2005, Anderson Independent Mail. All Rights Reserved.

Corpun file 15505

Delphos Herald, Ohio, 11 April 2005

School Stuff

A Matter of thinking ... Wresting with an alligator ...

By Edward Clark

A combustible discussion: Would the re-institution of corporal punishment (paddling students) make schools more effective places of learning? There are a notable number of educators who firmly believe the answer is yes, another group feels the answer is no, and those with mixed thoughts or who simply don't care much one way or the other. Where do you stand on the matter? Perhaps a little sorting is in order. A starting point for many may be the way they were brought up. Did you learn a lot from physical discipline? Pain has taught most all of us many lessons -- physical and mental pain lessons.

The age-old adage that if it hurts when you do that, then don't do that, can apply from time to time. Paddling/spanking a young person who is yet unable to reason on their own can be valuable, (when administered properly) particularly with respect to young people and issues of safety. For me, as kids enter the school years, the value of physical consequence to mis-behavior simply diminishes to having no role in their schooling development.

For some years now paddling has not been an employed option in area public schools -- a politically incorrect disciplinary procedure some would say -- to say the very least. From time to time you hear people remark with conviction the need for its return as a disciplinary practice in schools. Does paddling have value when compared to other behavior shaping strategies?

Consider this: What really was (is) going on in a paddling situation? In my early teaching days I remember clearly how it would go. The final straw for child X, teacher, face red as a fire engine, summons the principal or an official "witness" to the act, call the student to the hall, scream the verdict of how you were forewarned, empty the back pockets of the kid and BAM, BAM, BAM! I witnessed a few of these dramas. The kid usually cried and was given time to collect himself (never saw a girl get the learning paddle) before returning to his peers. The teacher would often share the story in the teacher's lounge at lunch to what at times seemed a strange receptive approval. The parent would be notified.

What was learned? Fear? Most certainly! Was the message sent to the rest of the class to watch it? Absolutely. Did it serve as a deterrent for the whole? Definitely. What did the kid learn? I'm not sure other than to know that if you do it again, you may get hit again. I was always struck, (pardon the wordplay) even in my younger dumber days, that we allow a teacher/principal that has just temporarily snapped, to take a piece of wood and start swinging it at the behind of one of their students. What was learned?

Is the practice used in our adult life when we error? Often the message in adult life when you strike another adult is that you may be jailed. The challenge of teaching without the threat of hitting? How do most learn the essential lessons of growing up? Through the experience of being hit? Some would say you're darn right that's how! Maybe for some, but was it from being paddled in school?

OK, if the practice of paddling needs to return as a discipline option in the future then here are the new and evolved procedures:

1) The teacher/principal does not have the option of doing the paddling while their blood is still pooling fire engine red in their face.

2) The parent/guardian will be contacted to come to the school at days end for the paddling lesson that "needs to be learned".

3) The teacher, parents, principal gather in the principal's office after school where the child is told how they have wronged, and why paddling them will teach them.

4) Clear your back pockets, of course and bend over.

5) The teacher, now calm with natural facial color, gets to deliver the instructional blows while the parents and principal "witness" the learning process.

6) After the paddling, all gathered shall review/discuss how this is a hard lesson but one that was necessary.

Do you think these new paddling procedures would bring paddling in schools back to its proper place? Do you think?

The challenge of instructive learning where we challenge kids to think is sometimes a most difficult job. The aim in the classroom is to reinforce good behavior and discourage inappropriate behavior -- sort of the way life works. The conditioning of "thinking" smacks true. As the reasoning skills of the kid develop so shall their capacity to make choices with knowledge of their consequence. Maybe the thinking lessons are what kids really need hit with. It is a matter of thinking, you see.

Green Light and Blue Skies!

Corpun file 15514

Chillicothe Gazette, Ohio, 11 April 2005

Discipline in local schools

Opposing methods meet same result

By Jona Ison
Gazette Staff Writer

When Linda Miller started teaching 36 years ago, she remembers a bus driver - also a teacher - handing her an oak paddle.

"I remember asking him, 'What are you supposed to do with this?'" she said.

At that time, teachers administered paddlings to students who misbehaved. While once the norm, Miller has seen the rules of school discipline change dramatically. Miller is now a principal at Unioto Elementary School, where paddling has been banned.

The paddling ban is becoming more common throughout the United States as 29 states have banned the practice. Nine states, including Ohio, have more than half of students in districts with no corporal punishment, according to the Center for Effective Discipline.

graphHowever, districts such as Western Local in Pike County still are using paddling and are Public Enemy No. 1 for the Center of Effective Discipline, which has a goal to ban corporal punishment in schools nationwide. Western took first place in Ohio on the center's "Top Hitters" list for 2003-04 school year with 146 paddlings administered to 79 students.

Phil Howard was the elementary principal during the 2003-04 school year and said paddling is effective because it allows students to stay in school. Corporal punishment was brought back to Western Local about four years ago mostly at the request of the community, he added.

"I think that paddling can have an impact on the child it is administered to, but also for the rest of the student body, the threat is there" Howard said.

The corporal punishment policy is specific as well, he said, and paddlings occur only if the parents have signed off on the practice. The building principal is the only one to decide on paddling as a punishment and administer it. Also, another certified employee is in the room during the paddling and no more than three "swats" are given.

"The (Center for Effective Discipline) would believe it's a beating, but it's a spanking, a whipping," Howard said.

The difference, he added, is the paddling is done out of "love and concern" and only after discussing with the student the misbehavior and the paddling.

Paddling returns some authority to schools as well, Howard said.

"I believe students, in general, are disruptive and less respectful to adults and everyone ... We've taken the power out of the school," Howard said of paddling bans.

He also has found, now that he is principal at the high school, he uses paddling less frequently because it is not as effective on teens.

Western isn't the lone paddler in the area, though. Scioto Valley Local in Pike County and Zane Trace Local in Ross County also paddled during 2003-04; Scioto Valley paddled eight times to eight students and Zane Trace twice to the same student.

Zane Trace Superintendent Ernest Hamilton said some parents request their child be paddled.

Last week, Howard was asked by a parent to paddle her son instead of suspending him from school; she didn't want him to fall behind in his classwork, Howard said.

"The big picture, the ultimate goal, is to try and keep every kid in school," he said.

Paddling also provides an option when parents aren't able to pick up their child from an after school detention or transport to-and-from Saturday school- both of which are generally used before paddling.

Paddling is a last resort for students at Zane Trace. Sitting down and talking with the student is generally the first and most effective step of discipline, Hamilton said.

"Sometimes a student ... may not realize the effect or impact they can have on someone else," Hamilton said.

Many times just talking to a student who is "mischievous and ornery" and involving parents is just as effective as paddling, Hamilton said. However, reinforcement at home and providing a good, positive foundation is also important, he added.

"If you are violent with them, it is going to breed violence," he said.

Zane Trace and most other districts also use in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, Saturday school, detention and expulsion.

"We have to look at what's best for this kid and the kids here and it might be expulsion," Hamilton said.

Expelling students isn't as prevalent as it used to be either, said Joyce Atwood, assistant superintendent for Chillicothe City Schools.

The No Child Left Behind Act has put an emphasis on educating every student, and keeping children in school has become more important and also affects school funding; each student lost costs a district between $4,000 and $5,000.

"In the '40s and '50s, students were excluded for extreme behaviors, but today schools have the responsibility to educate all students ... There's a lot more focus on students to help them mold and develop character," Atwood said.

Part of that character building is achieved through not paddling and following a philosophy spread during the mid-1990s when the Chillicothe City Schools Board of Education banned paddling, Atwood said.

"In the early '90s, a lot of research was done on effective ways of dealing with students in a non-physical way ... The philosophy was that if you had corporal punishment, you were showing children ... you should be physically aggressive," Atwood said.

At Chillicothe High School, one alternative to paddling is the peer mediator group. The groups are made up of students trained to mediate problems between their fellow classmates.

Together, the offenders sit down with the someone from the group and together, they try to reach an understanding of what happened, for example, why there was a fight. The mediator's job is to help the offenders find a way to talk out their differences and find a resolution.

At Unioto Elementary, Miller said the school has gone to a strip program - each student receives three colored strips; green, yellow and red. When a green slip is pulled, the child loses recess time; the yellow slip means the child loses more recess time or receives detention, and the parents are called when a red slip is pulled.

As an incentive to keep all three slips, children who still have them at the end of a nine-week grading period are treated to a "Good Behavior" assembly, where they receive snacks and sometimes prizes.

Although Miller said she had mixed feelings about paddling when it was in effect, she sometimes wonders what can be done when a child absolutely doesn't respond to anything.

Miller agreed with Hamilton that good behavior begins at home, and said the point was driven home a few weeks ago when she was at Dairy Queen. She found it hard to watch as a mother repeatedly used profanity and belittled a child who wasn't doing anything wrong, Miller said.

"It reminded me that some kids come to school very angry," she said.

Corpun file 15529

logo (WCMH-TV), Columbus, Ohio, 13 April 2005

Paddling Remains Punishment In Local Schools

Parents Give School Principals Permission To Spank

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Two Pike County schools that recently opened allow paddling as a form of punishment, and many parents say that's OK with them, NBC 4's Monique Ming Laven reported.

Paddling isn't an outdated form of student punishment at the Western Local School District's elementary school and high school. Numbers show that, during an average week last year, a student would be paddled four out of every five school days.

"The word discipline comes from the root word 'to disciple,' which in my opinion means to instruct, to train, to teach a child the way they should go," elementary school Principal Pete Dunn said.

Nine percent of students in the district met the principals' paddles last year, Laven reported.

"We have the child put their hands on their knees and usually look out the window, and usually one swat does it," Dunn said. "Sometimes I've had to use two."

But not everyone agrees.

"If you're friends with someone on the school board or a teacher here, or you're from the right part of town, your child's not going to get the board," parent Lisa Elliott said.

But 56 percent of elementary school parents and 34 percent of high school parents give their permission to use the paddle on their children.

"With my kids, I feel like they need to know that there are guidelines and there are rules," parent Michelle Ross said.

John Bauer was paddled after he mouthed off to a teacher, Laven reported.

"It was hard enough to make me make sure I wouldn't do it again," Bauer said.

Both principals said the size of the student determines the strength of the spanking. And they said they never leave a mark.

"If my child is bad enough to need a whippin', I'm giving it to him," Elliott said.

It is up to the parents whether they want the paddle to be used. Many parents said it is better than other options.

"Because suspending him and he would have gotten zeroes for those three days, five days, whatever it would have been, he would have missed out on school," parent Becky Bauer said.

The school said paddling numbers are down. The district has had about 87 paddling incidents this year compared with 146 last year, Laven reported.

Copyright 2005 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Corpun file 15544

Miami News-Record, Oklahoma, 15 April 2005

Woman will seek action against school district

By K.E. Sturgeon III
The News-Record

QUAPAW -- The guardian of a 6-year-old Quapaw kindergarten student who was bruised during a disciplinary paddling at school last week said Thursday she expects to proceed with civil action against the school district and its elementary school principal.

Brenda Golden confirmed her intentions Thursday after hearing that officials will not seek prosecution in the case.

"Right now it's hard to believe in the law system," Golden said. "It's hard to have any faith in a law system that doesn't want to protect children."

A child in Golden's custodial care was paddled at school April 5 after allegedly telling a fellow student he would "chop his arms off and cut his eyes out." Golden gave permission for elementary school principal James Dawson to swat the child twice. Photographs taken by Golden indicate the paddling resulted in a series of deep purple bruises along the sides, top and bottom of the boy's buttocks. Bruising could still be seen six days after the paddling, Golden said.

"I gave permission for two swats, not a beating like he got," Golden said. "If I'd sent (a child) to school with bruises like that I'm sure the police would have come and taken me to jail."

Golden said she has not retained an attorney, but will look to do so sometime next week. The boy returned to school Monday and has been in his kindergarten class all week. Golden said he is afraid of both Dawson and his teacher. She said the school has offered no assistance to help the child overcome his fear.

"They've told me I have to send him to school there, that I'll be violating the law if I don't," Golden said.

Dawson did not return a phone call seeking comment Thursday.

District Attorney Eddie Wyant has said he will not seek prosecution against Dawson because he does not think the principal had the intent to harm the student.

"The grandmother gave permission for the swats and the swats were administered in a controlled environment in a normal manner as part of a disciplinary procedure that was consistent with previous swattings according to the teacher that was a witness," Wyant said. "The swats were administered on the buttocks, not on the legs or back, and I just can't find there was any criminal intent."

Wyant said he felt it would be more appropriate for Golden to talk to the school board about the district's corporal punishment policy or to file a civil lawsuit.

Copyright 2005 The News Record

Corpun file 15555

The York Dispatch, Pennsylvania, 19 April 2005

Eastern divided over corporal punishment ban

Board to review proposal to remove it from code

By James McGinnis
For The York Dispatch

Monday, April 18, 2005 - Eastern York School District board members are divided over a proposal to ban the use of corporal punishment by faculty.

Board members have agreed to review in May a proposal by superintendent Michael Thew that would remove the provision in the district's discipline code that permits teachers to paddle students in certain circumstances.

Thew said Eastern is the last district in the county to officially permit the use of corporal punishment in the schools. Teachers must obtain permission from the administration before paddling students who misbehave.

Thew added, however, that he does not recall any teachers using corporal punishment in his six years with the district.

"We have not used a paddle in this district since I don't know when," he said. "I'm sorry we haven't removed this earlier."

He said students who severely misbehave are referred to guidance counselors and principals, and their parents are notified.

"I think we have other ways to deal with these students," Thew said.

But board members are divided over whether corporal punishment is appropriate in schools.

Darvin Shelley and Doug Caldwell questioned whether the district should remove the provision simply to conform with its neighbors. They both agreed corporal punishment should be used rarely, if ever, but said its presence on the books is a valuable deterrent to misbehavior.

"I think it does send a message," Caldwell said. "I hope we never have to use it, but it's not hurting anyone by being there."

Richard Zepp and Steven Jeffrey, however, said corporal punishment is not appropriate in a school setting. They said the relationship between a parent and child is different from the one between a teacher and student.

"All the psychologists and talking in the world will not have the same effect as a strong hand," Zepp said. "I understand, however, that times are changing, and I don't believe that paddling is appropriate in a school setting."

Whether Eastern removes the policy could eventually be moot, however.

Nationwide, 28 states have outlawed corporal punishment in the schools, and Pennsylvania's Board of Education again in March approved such a proposal after settling a debate on how best to define corporal punishment.

The proposal is now before attorney general's office and Legislature for review and approval.

Corpun file 15556


The News-Press, Fort Myers, Florida, 19 April 2005


Teacher given own day

Longtime Collier resident Leila Canant honored for years of work

By Denes Husty III


• 99-year-old Leila Canant is a retired Naples High School English teacher who taught Collier County Sheriff Don Hunter and state Rep. Dudley Goodlette, as well as many other prominent citizens. She holds a proclamation from the Collier County commissioners she recently received recognizing her many years of service to the community and proclaiming April 12 as "Leila Canant Day" in Collier County. TERRY ALLEN WILLIAMS/The News-Press
• Upper left: Principal Ernest Bridges. Lower left: Teacher Leila Canant in 1923. Special to the News-Press

Retired Naples High School English and Latin teacher Leila Canant taught hundreds of students, including future community and state leaders, their ABCs and rules for living.

For the years she spent in shaping the lives of so many young people, Canant, 99, has been recognized for her achievements.

"I was flabbergasted, I tell you," when Collier County commissioners proclaimed that April 12 was her day at the urging of her former students, many of whom attended the ceremony, she said.

"I was really surprised. I felt very flattered and very humble, really," the retired teacher said.

A few months shy of living a full century, Canant has a quick wit, a ready laugh and a good memory of her tenure as a teacher in Naples for more than 40 years -- from 1928 to 1969 -- starting in an old wooden schoolhouse divided into four classrooms.


Over the span of four decades, Canant taught hundreds of students, some of whom went on to become community and state leaders, including Collier County Sheriff Don Hunter, state Rep. Dudley Goodlette and former Naples City manager Richard Woodruff among them.

And her former students well remember her.

"I still have fond memories of her," said Hunter, recalling his days in Canant's junior high school English class.

Although she was a slight woman, "she had complete control of the class," the sheriff said.

He said he remembers vividly that when the bell rang at the end of class, her students didn't just get up and leave.

"She would say, 'class rise,' and we would all rise," Hunter said.

Then Canant would dismiss the students and they would leave, he said.

But then, students in general were more well-behaved back then, Canant said.

"The children were nice. I really don't remember many discipline problems," mostly because the teachers had the support of the students' parents, she said.

The one exception she can recall was more comical than serious.

During World War II, she took over as high school principal when the regular principal went into the military, Canant said.

That meant she had to take over as disciplinarian, including paddling students who broke the rules.

Two big teenage boys ended up breaking the rules, she said.

Canant said she got out her plywood paddle and made the boys bend over.

"The first lick, the paddle broke. They thought that was pretty funny," she said, laughing herself at the memory.

That night, the boys carved a new paddle for her and presented it to her the next day.

Into the paddle, they carved, "to Mrs. Canant with love," she said.

Indeed, "she commanded respect from everyone in her class," Goodlette recalled.


Copyright The News-Press.

Corpun file 15565

The Morning News, Springdale, Arkansas, 20 April 2005

School Board Eliminates Corporal Punishment

By Matt McGowan
The Morning News


ROGERS -- The School Board approved a recommendation Tuesday to eliminate corporal punishment from Rogers School District's student discipline policy.

Teachers and administrators in the district have not paddled students for many years, administrators have said, and the change now aligns policy with practice. Specifically, language in the policy now states "corporal punishment is not an approved method of discipline."

Board members also approved a modified and shortened definition of corporal punishment within the same policy to eliminate possible confusion. The policy previously stated corporal punishment was a form of punishment in which a student is struck with a paddle. The new definition states "corporal punishment is a form of punishment in which a student is struck."

Most Northwest Arkansas school districts strongly discourage or do not use corporal punishment but leave it as an option by not deleting it from student discipline policies.

New language in the same policy emphasizes the district's zero-tolerance policy regarding drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

Jane Webb, assistant superintendent for personnel, presented a possible addition to the district's sick leave policy giving new fathers five paid sick days for paternity leave. Board members heard a first reading of that policy Tuesday and expect to vote on it during the board's next monthly meeting.

In other business, the board approved a revised 2004-2005 school calendar. The last day of school will now be May 31.


Corpun file 15572

Tri-City Tribune, Marked Tree, Arkansas, 21 April 2005

EPC school board hires principal, discusses discipline

By Angela McIllwain
Tribune News Staff


The East Poinsett County school board met in regular session last Tuesday in Lepanto. The board hired a new principal for the elementary school, discussed the budget for the school annual and talked about discipline problems in the classroom.

The board accepted the resignation of elementary school principal Pam Fought effective June 30. Several applications were received in response to advertisements for the position. The board voted to hire Lisa Tennyson of Weiner for the position, stating that she would be a great addition to the school.

The board also discussed the discipline problems teachers are encountering in the classroom.

"I want the principals in the classrooms to eliminate more disciplinary problems in our school," Superintendent Mickey Pierce said. "We are looking to eliminate in school suspension very soon,"

According to Pierce, an alternative to in school suspension is paddling on the first offense, calling parents after a second offense, and suspension as a last resort.


Copyright 2001. Tri-City Tribune. A division of the Northeast Arkansas News Group.

Corpun file 15567

The Joplin Globe, Missouri, 23 April 2005

Should schools spank?

Policies, attitudes vary widely over use of corporal punishment

By Mandi Steele
Globe Staff Writer

Kim Colquitt has a 7-year-old daughter who attends Quapaw Elementary School. And she has a definite opinion on spanking in schools.

"I just feel like that is something that should be taken care of at home," she said.

Vicki Waltrip, administrative secretary to the Pittsburg superintendent of schools, displays a paddle that was once used on misbehaved students. Pittsburg is one of the local school districts that no longer uses corporal punishment.

With written consent from parents at the start of every school year, the district allows corporal punishment if administrators think it's necessary. Colquitt said she won't consent to allow her child to be spanked. But other parents have. In fact, there were 27 incidents of spankings in Quapaw schools last year.

Colquitt said she rarely spanks her daughter, with time outs being her preferred discipline choice. She said she thinks the school district should ban corporal punishment because spanking should be the parents' job.

Some school officials disagree.

At least once a day, on average, a student is spanked in one of Webb City's schools.

In Northeast Oklahoma, Commerce and Miami teachers and administrators rely on the paddle on occasion.

Other districts, including Joplin, have the option on the books but school officials there say they haven't relied on spanking for some time.

In Pittsburg, Kan., no students are swatted. It isn't allowed. Nor is it allowed in Galena, Kan.


Nadine Block is the executive director of The Center for Effective Discipline, an organization that seeks to abolish corporal punishment in schools. A bill in the Missouri legislature this year - sponsored by Rep. Barbara Fraser, D-St. Louis - would ban corporal punishment in Missouri schools.

Block said there are several reasons she's against spanking students.

"Many times it makes (students) hate school," Block said.

It can cause some children to be revengeful and angry, and it can lead to lawsuits against school districts and educators. She said paddling also can lead to injury.

Earlier this month, the principal of Quapaw Elementary School was investigated by the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department for allegedly leaving bruises on a 6-year-old's buttocks after a spanking. Ottawa County District Attorney Eddie Wyant chose not to press charges against the principal, since the guardian of the kindergarten student had consented to the spanking.

Dennis Earp, superintendent at Quapaw schools, said the paddling that caused the investigation was the first time he's heard a complaint about corporal punishment in the nine years he's been with the Quapaw school district. He said each discipline incident is handled on an individual basis, depending on the child's actions and the parents' concerns.

"Every situation is a little bit different," Earp said.

He said Quapaw schools don't use swatting often, but in some cases it seems to help, and he said he thinks it's good that the district has the option to paddle.

"If it was totally bad, none of us would have it," Earp said.


"I think that corporal punishment and spanking in the schools is completely appropriate," said Michael Banes, a Carthage resident. "I think that there should be an established policy and established boundaries, and I think that if everyone is on the same page, then I think certainly we can spank children in the schools when those boundaries are set."

Most area school districts allow for the practice under certain guidelines, such as making sure other forms of punishment have been tried. When it is used, depending on the district, it is done by the choice of either the parent or the student, or both, and usually inflicted with a wooden paddle.

Stephen Gollhofer, principal at Webb City High School, said at the high school both the students and the parents have to choose swats before they are administered. He said students will choose three swats instead of a three-hour detention or suspension, so they can get their discipline over with quickly.

"If we see that it's not doing something to correct behavior, then we do something else," Gollhofer said. "We're not giving swats just to give swats."

The Webb City school district reported 279 incidents of corporal punishment last year.

Practice and policy

McDonald County High School Principal Steve Buckingham said administrators give no more than three swats and the punishment is always given at least a day after the offense.

"It's always preceded by a letter home in which the parents are given their options," Buckingham said. "It's never applied in anger and always given with the parents' consent."

Paula Bliesath is an English teacher at Commerce (Okla.) High School. She said she also had some students choose swats over detention. The Commerce school district reported administering 52 paddlings last year. She said she believes in paddling because teachers and administrators can get a student's attention right away with a couple of swats.

"I don't think suspending them is punishment," Bliesath said. "Suspension is just a day out of school. That's what they want."

Commerce policy allows for corporal punishment from grades K-12, but parents can choose not to let their child be spanked.

Doug Domer, assistant superintendent of Joplin schools, said corporal punishment is allowed in Joplin schools, but it is rarely used. Domer oversees discipline at the schools and said no student has been spanked this year or last year.

Ken Jones, superintendent of Columbus Unified School District, said spanking is only used as a last resort. He said swatting occurs "very infrequently" and only after educators have exhausted all other disciplinary options.

"I don't recall the last time we utilized corporal punishment," Jones said.

No place in school

Spanking is banned in Pittsburg, Kan., schools.

Mike Phiopot, Pittsburg High School principal, said he thinks there are ways to change behavior other than corporal punishment.

"I don't believe it has any place in public schools," Phiopot said. "I've never had reason enough to hit a kid or paddle a kid to solve an issue."

When it comes to discipline at the high school, Phiopot either deprives students of privileges or takes away personal time with detention.

Cindy Machado, principal at Wilson Elementary in Miami, Okla., said she's had parents request their child be spanked after they cause trouble. However, Machado said she prefers to have the parents come to the school and paddle their own children if they wish.

"I raised three boys, and I don't have any trouble swatting my own kids," Machado said. "But, I don't want to be swatting somebody else's kids."

2005 The Joplin Globe Publishing Company

Corpun file 15705

Agape Press (Christian News Media Service), 25 April 2005

County School District Reinstates Corporal Punishment, Sees Positive Results

By Jim Brown

(AgapePress) - One Ohio community is reaping the benefits of overwhelmingly approving paddling as another form of punishment in schools.

Pike County Schools banned paddling back in 1993. However, after receiving strong backing from members of the community, corporal punishment is back in use. Pete Dunn, the principal of Western Elementary School in Latham, says since paddling was reinstated, misbehavior among students has declined substantially.

The principal notes that students are not paddled for misbehavior if their parents do not approve of corporal punishment. But he explains that "well over half" of the parents of the students at his school have agreed that they want that as a form of punishment, and have signed a waiver giving him permission to spank their children if they misbehave. That, Dunn says, has led to fewer problems in the classroom.

"If you don't have corporal punishment -- and [if] your other means of taking away recess and detentions in school aren't working -- then the only other thing you're left with is suspending a kid," the principal observes. "So what sense does it make if you had a kid that, say, skipped school; and then you're going to suspend him and give him three more days out for skipping school? It doesn't make a whole lot of sense."

He explains that was some of the parents' rationale behind reinstatement of paddling. "This is was another means that the community wanted, and it made sense to them," he says.

Dunn, a Christian, says paddling is not only biblical, but also a strong deterrent. The punishment, he points out, can only be administered by the building principal. "No teachers, no one else can do that. It's [always done by] someone who's detached from the situation," he says. "It's never done out of anger. It's always done as a way of correction."

Dunn says he follows the biblical definition of discipline -- "to train a child in the way they should go."

Jim Brown, a regular contributor to AgapePress, is a reporter for American Family Radio News, which can be heard online.

2005 AgapePress all rights reserved.

Corpun file 15601

The Daily Times, Valdosta, Georgia, 27 April 2005

Our Opinion

Lack of discipline requires drastic measures

The Lanier County Board of Education will vote soon on whether corporal punishment should be reinstated in their schools. The Board requested that a draft policy be written concerning a protocol of how and when such disciplinary action could be used, and the issue will be voted on at its May 9 meeting.

This decision may seem like a return to the Dark Ages for some, but we applaud it as a timely and necessary return to the days of consequences.

Many children are no longer taught self control or discipline at home. They don't respect their parents or teachers, and the schools are spending too much time and money on trying to find ways to deal with out of control students. Their job may be to educate, not to parent, but if parents don't teach children right from wrong, who will?

Several recent highly publicized events in the national news highlight the need for teachers and principals to be allowed to once again rule the schools. Students once had a healthy fear of being sent to the principal's office, because they knew there were consequences for bad behavior. And children also once knew that what they faced at school was nothing compared to what they faced at home if they misbehaved.

Today's children talk back to their teachers, the principals and their parents. The feel-good philosophies of the last decade are not working. You need look no further than daily headlines concerning out of control children, even at the elementary school level, having to be restrained by police, to understand that a return to the old days may not be such a bad idea.

Talk to teachers who've been around long enough to remember a time when paddling was allowed in school, and you'll find a group of educators who also remember a time when students respected their parents and teachers as well as the teacher's authority in a classroom. Those same teachers today are frustrated with a system that won't allow them to properly control their classrooms in order to teach, and the results are showing in attitudes and test scores.

The Lanier County school board's proposed protocol clearly outlines when and how paddling students can take place. This form of discipline will only be used as a last resort, after other methods have failed.

We urge the board to adopt the policy and hope that other school systems will consider following their lead.

Copyright 2005 South Georgia Media Group

blob Follow-up: 12 May 2005 - Lanier County BOE adopts corporal punishment policy

Corpun file 15602

The Truth, Elkhart, Indiana, 27 April 2005

Government At A Glance

Elkhart Schools: No devices used when in session

Meeting: Elkhart Board of School Trustees

When: Tuesday


Key action: Adopted a new administrative regulation that limits students' use of cell phones, pagers or other electronic communication devices to before school begins, lunch periods (if the particular school permits) and when school is over for the day. The proposed policy says the devices will not be used during instructional time or any other time unless there is a health or safety emergency.

Other actions:


* Approved the revision of the board policy on corporal punishment to state that it will not be permitted in Elkhart Schools. The change reflects the fact corporal punishment has not been used in Elkhart for a number of years.

Copyright 2005 Truth Publishing Co.

Corpun file 15698


Charlotte Observer, North Carolina, 29 April 2005

Bill asks state to study corporal punishment

State board would conduct study, provide findings to legislature

By Sharif Durhams
Raleigh Bureau

RALEIGH - Three lawmakers, including Rep. Martha Alexander, D-Mecklenburg, have asked the state to examine corporal punishment and to see if teachers need training that shows them alternatives to spanking students.

The House bill calls on the state Board of Education to consult with parents, teachers, local school boards and groups that represent them in crafting a report. The board would present findings to the state legislature in July 2006.

"I know that we ask teachers to do a lot and dealing with an unruly child can be stressful," said Rep. Verla Insko, D-Orange. "Teachers need to have alternative ways of dealing with that other than using a belt on a child."

Insko and Rep. Jennifer Weiss, D-Wake, noted news reports this week of a Wake County teacher who took a 5-year-old to her car, pulled down his pants and whipped him with a belt, according to the boy's mother. Such punishment is banned in Wake County. School officials suspended the teacher with pay, and the Wake County Sheriff's Office is investigating, according to a report by Raleigh's WRAL-TV.

Union County school officials temporarily halted corporal punishment in March after parents complained of how often the discipline is used, but voted against permanently banning it. Arguments among school board members ranged from citing research studies to citing the Bible.

In 2003-04, corporal punishment was used 474 times at eight of the Union district's 34 schools. Gaston and Catawba counties and Iredell-Statesville schools allow it, but have used it less often. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Cabarrus County schools have banned the practice.

Union's policy also didn't comply with an N.C. law requiring that students know which infractions can merit spankings before they happen.

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