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rainbow ruler : Archive : 2008 : US Schools Aug 2008


School CP - August 2008

Corpun file 20473 at

Flower Mound Leader, Texas, 12 August 2008

LISD tweaks code of conduct

By Chris Roark
Staff Writer


Lewisville ISD board members reaffirmed its stance against alcohol, drug and tobacco use among its students Monday but voted to alter the punishment for those who violate the policy.


We felt that for the first offense, we wanted to keep the students in the program," said Dean Tackett, LISD spokesperson.


The board also voted to officially eliminate corporal punishment as an option for the district.

Corporal punishment, which includes paddling and spanking, had been in the district's and state board's code of conduct for years, Tackett said. He said LISD hasn't used corporal punishment in years and three years ago decided informally not to use it.


Copyright © 2008 Star Community Newspapers

Corpun file 20471 at

Mooresville Tribune, North Carolina, 15 August 2008

Just in case, MGSD removes corporal punishment from the books

By Melinda Skutnick


Although Mooresville school officials say they cannot recall the last time a student was spanked, the Mooresville Graded School District Board of Education has removed the corporal punishment allowance from its policy books.

Adopted as Policy Code 4355 on June 26, 1991, the newly removed corporal punishment guideline stated that "in order to maintain an orderly atmosphere and control student behavior, corporal punishment is one of several options available to teachers and principals. However, (it) must be regarded as a last resort and may be employed only in cases where other means of securing cooperation from the student have failed."

District officials note that the policy has not been enforced or used for as long as they can remember in the MGSD.

Removing the policy at Tuesday night's monthly board meeting thus officially forbids the use of corporal punishment -- spanking of "the buttocks by hand or paddle," according to the documented code -- among principals, teachers and other school personnel.


Corpun file 20543 at


The Daily Record, Dunn, North Carolina, 19 August 2008

Spanking Out In Johnston

By David Anderson, Jr.
Reporter for The Daily Record

Johnston County students have been officially been "spared the rod," thanks to a move last week by the Board of Education banning corporal punishment in the county's schools.

Prior to the change, school administrators were permitted to implement corporal punishment. A second school official was required to witness the punishment and parents were to be notified immediately afterward.

Robin Little, a spokesperson for the school system, said it has been more than five years since corporal punishment has been used in Johnston County.

"The changes were made because we wanted to align our board policy with our current practice," Ms. Little said. "It has already been our practice to not allow corporal punishment and it has been that way for many years, so we wanted to align our policy with what we were doing, or not doing."

The ban does not prohibit Johnston County school officials from using reasonable force in self-defense, to break up fights or to protect people and property.

Harnett, Sampson

The change in policy comes four years after Sampson County banned the striking of students in its school system.

"We do not allow corporal punishment in schools," said Susan Warren, a spokesperson for Sampson County Schools.

Mrs. Warren said that in the years leading up to the ban, corporal punishment may have been implemented at some elementary schools, but occurrences were "very, very few."

Harnett County educators are still allowed to use corporal punishment in some circumstances. According to Harnett County's policy, any teacher, substitute teacher or administrator may administer corporal punishment, but it must be carried out in front of another teacher or administrator and out of sight from other students.

In addition, corporal punishment may not be used "as the primary means of discipline. Corporal punishment shall be a secondary resort in the disciplinary procedure after other disciplinary measures have been applied and found ineffective."

Students are to be given an opportunity to defend their actions prior to the spanking, but parents are required to be notified only after the punishment has been administered.

"I can tell you that it's very rarely, if ever, used by principals," Superintendent Dan Honeycutt said. "They choose not to use that."

Mr. Honeycutt said the Harnett school board is currently in the process of reviewing school policies. While he would not speculate on the future of the corporal punishment policy, he said a change in the policy is possible.

Content © 2008 Daily Record

blob Follow-up: 9 September 2008 - Harnett Schools Ban Spanking

Corpun file 20542 at

Tyler Morning Telegraph, Texas, 20 August 2008

Corporal Punishment Still An Option For TISD

By Megan Middleton
Staff Writer


Tyler ISD trustees voted to keep corporal punishment as a disciplinary technique that can be used in the district and rejected a recommendation from the administration to remove it as an option.

Six trustees voted to keep corporal punishment, while one ultimately voted against keeping the policy.

No citizens spoke on the corporal punishment issue or any other issue during the public participation portion of the meeting.

Trustee Therelee Washington made the motion to reject the administration's recommendation and to instead keep the district's current corporal punishment policy. Trustee the Rev. Orenthia Mason seconded the motion.

"Because it's there and schools have the authority to use it might be a thing that prevents kids from doing a lot of things," Washington said. "Personally I don't see the need to take it out. We haven't had any complaints about corporal punishment in Tyler."

Washington also quoted surveys he said stated most parents support keeping corporal punishment as an option and noted many phone calls he has received from parents who want to see it remain.

The current policy for TISD states that, "for campuses that utilize corporal punishment (paddling), parents/legal guardians shall be required to return student enrollment and contact information each year and indicate they do or do not want their child to be subject to corporal punishment (paddling)."

School officials said the policy essentially requires parents to "opt in" to allowing their child to be subject to corporal punishment before it can be considered as an option.

But the proposed policy the administration was recommending would have abolished corporal punishment as an option all together. The proposed policy stated, "The Board prohibits the use of corporal punishment in the District. Students shall not be spanked, paddled, or otherwise physically disciplined for violations of the Student Code of Conduct or other disciplinary rules."

In bringing the proposal forward for the board to consider, TISD Superintendent Dr. Randy Reid said the issue of corporal punishment came up a few years ago and the board at that time decided to change how it was implemented and allow parents to "opt in" as opposed to "opt out."

Reid said the board had asked that the administration continue to monitor the use of corporal punishment and provide reports to the board.

Reid said the administration has been monitoring it and said the use of corporal punishment in the district has been diminishing annually. He said three campuses used it sparingly last year.

Deputy Superintendent Cecil McDaniel told the board that the use of corporal punishment is a declining trend nationwide and said TISD used it less than half a percent.

"What we're finding is that it's not the most effective means to discipline students," McDaniel said. "When you engage children in good, solid instruction, the disciplinary and behavior issues tend to decrease."

McDaniel also said there are other measures to deal with discipline and said schools can report back to parents about their child's behavior.

"If they (parents) choose to use corporal punishment that's certainly an option they can exercise, but we really want to focus on the education of the children," he said.

But Washington said he has received lots of phone calls in regard to the district considering removing the policy.

"The parents are saying, 'why are we removing it?'" he said. "A lot of the parents want it to stay. We haven't had parents complaining about it. We're saying we want to take it out because everybody else is taking it out."

Reid said of the three campuses that used corporal punishment, there were 61 administrations of it, representing about .003 percent of students. He pointed out, though, that in some of those cases the spanking was administered multiple times to the same child, which he said is an indication it is not having the "intended impact."

"I've been in education 27 years and I've never paddled a child, and we have found other ways to discipline kids and believe there are other ways that we can manage effective behavior of children," he said.

Washington said he has been in education 37 years and used corporal punishment "very, very much" and was successful in the disciplinary problems he had.

"I'm not here to debate the issue," he added. "What I'm here to tell the board is why would we remove something that the parents want. If it's not broke, don't try to fix it."

Ms. Mason said during the discussion that she hopes TISD still honors parents' requests of what they do not want to happen to their students, but also hopes somewhere the district offers some alternative.

She noted that corporal punishment should be a last resort and used sparingly, if at all.

She also expressed concern about the classroom environment and indicated she wanted it to be an environment where all students can receive an excellent education.

Board Vice President Michelle Carr voted against keeping the policy allowing corporal punishment.

"I don't believe corporal punishment has any place in our schools," Ms. Carr said after the board meeting. "I agree with the administration's recommendation. I think there are a lot of other more effective tools to discipline our children. We have less than a half a percent of our children being the recipients of it. I'm very uncomfortable with it."

Ms. Carr said it is mostly minority students who have corporal punishment administered to them.

"I think there's a lack of equity," she said. "Most principals are extremely uncomfortable with it and don't want it to be any part of their program."

Reid said after the meeting that, "It's the will of the board, and we'll move forward with it. I personally don't agree, but it's been a policy that we've been able to operate with without any problems in the past, so I don't see any reason we would have any problems with it in the future."

The removal of corporal punishment was one of the proposed changes to the Student Code of Conduct. Before approving the Student Code of Conduct Tuesday night, trustees amended the motion to keep the current corporal punishment policy.

The Student Code of Conduct that trustees approved does include a change to the possession of telecommunication device section to include all electronic communications devices.

The board also approved a policy change related to compensation and benefits and another related to transfers but tabled a separate policy revision related to transfers because of a change in its wording.



TV news clip (2 minutes 7 seconds) from KTRE-TV, Lufkin/Nacogdoches, TX (19 August 2008) aired just ahead of the Tyler ISD decision to keep CP, reported above. Pro- and anti-paddling parents are interviewed, together with a teacher who says he has seen standards of behavior decline since the paddle has been used less.


This video clip is not currently available.

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.

Corpun file 20540 at

Fox News logo (KOKI-TV), Tulsa, Oklahoma, 20 August 2008

Corporal Punishment Still Option in Owasso

Students boarding school busStudents are still feeling the sting of corporal punishment in our nation's schools. Nearly a quarter of a million students received a paddling in school last year, according to the ACLU. Minority students are getting paddled more than white students and boys are three times more likely to receive corporal punishment.

Oklahoma is one of 21 states that still allows it in schools.

Principals in Owasso public schools can use paddles to discipline kids. Although the assistant superintendent says it's rare, it is an option for principals if parents approve.

Ask any parent about the best way for a school to discipline a child, you'll often hear similar answers -- detention, suspension, and a phone call home. But ask parents about corporal punishment in school, and you'll hear a lot of different answers.

"If he needs a whipping, whip him," says parent Angel Body. "I got whippings when I was a kid."

"I think the parent ought to perform the act of punishment," says parent Donna Herrian.

Even though corporal punishment is allowed in Oklahoma, the Owasso Public School District is one of a few that still actually practices it.

"There's a list. Your parents will put you on it if they think you need it," says 7th grader Andrew Cook.

"She just said bend over and put your hands on the desk and gave me three swats," says student Morgan Burger.

Owasso Assistant Superintendent David Hall says corporal punishment is rare.

Schools adhere to strict rules. They need parents' permission. Only a principal does the paddling, in private, with one witness. And a student cannot get more than 3 swats. Hall says it's just another tool for discipline and some parents agree.

Paddled: Morgan"I think it's great if the child deserves it and it's for the right reasons," says parent Angel Body. "Suspending him and sending him home on a vacation doesn't do any good."

But most kids say there's a better way to punish bad behavior.

"I just think it shouldn't be allowed. Your parents should handle that. I don't think the teachers should handle that," says 7th grader Morgan Burger.

Paddling in Owasso schools can be done at all levels, from elementary up to high school age. And it's only used to punish bad behavior not bad grades.

The Department of Education reports that Oklahoma falls into the highest corporal punishment category with more than 1,000 paddlings in 2006. The overall highest percentage of students receiving corporal punishment was in Mississippi with 7.5% of students.

© 2008 Newport Television LLC


Paddled: CodyTV news clip (2 minutes 25 seconds) from Fox23 News (KOKI-TV), Tulsa (20 August 2008). Douglas Clark reports, holding a paddle. This is the filmed report of which the above is an abbreviated text version. Local parents give conflicting views. There are also interviews with two students who have been paddled in Owasso public schools. One describes his paddling and says he thinks only parents, not schools, should be able to use CP. The other claims that receiving swats has cured him of the habit of fighting.


This video clip is not currently available.

Corpun file 20541 at

NBC logo

KARK4-TV, Little Rock, Arkansas, 20 August 2008

Arkansas Ranks High in Corporal Punishment

By Pete Thompson
KARK 4 News

Many schools are back in session -- and unfortunately, some students won't be on their best behavior.

How schools deal with them is the subject of a new report put out by the ACLU and other human rights groups.

It says more than 200,000 cases of corporal punishment were reported last year across the U.S.

But 13 states were singled out for using the method more often... including Arkansas.

The Arkansas Department of Education says corporal punishment is widespread in Arkansas... where it's up to each individual district.

But administrators will tell you... it's not what it was 20 years ago.

More than anything now... corporal punishment is a scare tactic.

Pine Bluff Schools' Superintendent Frank Anthony says at times, spanking a child can be one of the most effective and efficient forms of discipline.

"It's to keep from sending that child home," says Anthony, "Keep that child in school teaching him just so they can learn reading writing arithmetic."

According to the State Department of Education, in the 2006-2007 school year most counties in the state reported between 100 and 600 incidents of corporal punishment.

Jefferson county reported just over 3500.

Anthony says some of that is rooted in culture.

"Pine Bluff school district is 94 percent African-American...according to statistics, corporal punishment is used more by African-Americans than other minorities... It's a generational thing, it's a cultural thing," says Anthony.

And he says that's one reason the 13 states that frequently use corporal punishment are mostly in the south.

Anthony also says people's perceptions of corporal punishment are often inaccurate...

A child is usually paddled no more than three times... always in the presence of another teacher.

Copyright © 1998-2008 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved.


TV news clip (2 minutes 32 seconds) from KARK-TV, Little Rock (20 August 2008). Filmed report of which the above is an abbreviated text version. A school district administrator explains why CP is useful but adds that it is above all a generational thing and a cultural thing. A parent says paddling is a good deterrent.


This video clip is not currently available.

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.

Corpun file 20508 at

CNNlogo, 20 August 2008

More than 200,000 kids spanked at school

Story Highlights

-- Human Rights Watch, ACLU say spanking "discourages learning"
-- Corporal punishment is used frequently in schools in 13 states; it's legal in 21
-- Rights groups say such punishments are often disproportionately applied
-- Evangelical leader's group says spanking "can be useful" in elementary schools

(CNN)-- More than 200,000 children were spanked or paddled in U.S. schools during the past school year, human rights groups reported Wednesday.

"Every public school needs effective methods of discipline, but beating kids teaches violence, and it doesn't stop bad behavior," wrote Alice Farmer, the author of a joint report from Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union. "Corporal punishment discourages learning, fails to deter future misbehavior and at times even provokes it."

Corporal punishment in schools remains legal in 21 U.S. states and is used frequently in 13: Missouri, Kentucky, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Florida, according to data received from the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education and cited in the report.

The highest percentage of students receiving corporal punishment was in Mississippi, with 7.5 percent of students. The highest number was in Texas, with 48,197 students.

"When you talk to local school officials, they point to the fact that it's quick and it's effective -- and that's true," Farmer said. "It doesn't take much time to administer corporal punishment, and you don't have to hire someone to run a detention or an after-school program."

But she said, "We need forms of discipline that makes children understand why what they did was wrong."

In addition, corporal punishment can be linked to poverty and lack of resources. For instance, the report said, "Teachers may have overcrowded classrooms and lack resources such as counselors to assist with particularly disruptive students or classroom dynamics."

Overall, 223,190 students received corporal punishment in 2006-07, according to the Department of Education statistics. That number is down from 342,038 students in 2000-01 as more and more districts abolished corporal punishment.

The punishment is disproportionately applied to black students, according to the organizations. During the 2006-07 school year, for instance, black students made up 17.1 percent of the nationwide student population but 35.6 percent of those paddled at schools.

Black girls were paddled at twice the rate of their white counterparts in the 13 states using corporal punishment most frequently. And although boys are punished more often than girls, the report found that African-American students in general are 1.4 times more likely to receive corporal punishment.

In addition, special education students with mental or physical disabilities were more likely to receive corporal punishment, according to the ACLU and Human Rights Watch.

Evangelical leader James Dobson's influential Focus on the Family group is among those stopping short of calling for a full ban on paddling in schools.

"Corporal punishment is not effective at the junior and senior high school levels, and I do not recommend its application," Dobson said on the organization's Web site.

"It can be useful for elementary students, especially with amateur clowns (as opposed to hard-core troublemakers). For this reason, I am opposed to abolishing spanking in elementary schools because we have systematically eliminated the tools with which teachers have traditionally backed up their word. We're now down to a precious few. Let's not go any further in that direction."

Paddled: Joe CancellareAndrea Cancellare said her then-13-year-old son was paddled -- or "swatted" -- three years ago for flicking rubber bands in class, despite the fact she had written a letter directing school officials in Alpine, Texas, not to use corporal punishment against him. School officials told her they could not find the letter when she complained.

When she approached the principal and superintendent, Cancellare said, they told her that "most parents like this because it takes care of the punishment. It gets the kids back in class. It doesn't disrupt instruction. It's like the quick and dirty way of dealing with discipline problems."

Alpine Independent School District Superintendent Jose Cervantes said that both the principal and superintendent have taken other jobs, but for the past several years, the district has had a clear policy allowing parents to sign a waiver form and opt out of corporal punishment.

"It works on some, and it doesn't work on others," Cervantes said. "If you're one of the individuals that it does work on, yes, it will become a deterrent."

Cancellare disagrees. "I don't think it's the school's place to make decisions like that," she said. "I'm not necessarily in favor of that kind of punishment in the house either, but I feel like if somebody makes that decision, it should be the parent."

Most states typically leave it up to individual districts whether to use corporal punishment, and some of the nation's largest school districts -- among them Houston and Dallas, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia; and Mobile County, Alabama -- have banned the practice, according to the report.

CNN's Tracy Sabo and Vivienne Foley contributed to this report.

© 2008 Cable News Network


TV news item (2 minutes 22 seconds) from CNN (20 August 2008). "School swats and human rights: CNN's Ed Lavandera takes a look at new criticism of an old practice -- paddling as a punishment in public schools." Covers the HRW/ACLU report. Includes interview with the Texas paddled boy and his mother whose case is mentioned in the above text story, and with the relevant school district superintendent.


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.

Corpun file 20539 at

Ennis Daily News, Texas, 21 August 2008

Groups oppose school spanking

Community Editor

To spank or not to spank -- that is the question on the minds of the Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union.

In a joint press release both organizations have called for the end of corporal punishment in the state of Texas, saying that in the 2006-2007 school year 49,197 public school students were physically punished.

The 125-page report titled "A Violent Education: Corporal Punishment of Children in U.S. Public Schools" claimed that in the state of Texas, children between the ages of 3 and 19 are routinely punished for minor infractions and that in Texas and nationwide, special education students as well as African American students are punished at rates disproportionate with other students.

The Ennis ISD is among the school districts in Texas with a corporal punishment policy giving parents the option of signing a written permission slip allowing the school to spank their children if needed.

The policy found on the EISD web site states:
"Corporal punishment may be used as a discipline management technique in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. Corporal punishment shall be limited to spanking or paddling the student and shall be administered only in accordance with the following guidelines:
1. The student shall be told the reason corporal punishment is being administered.
2. Corporal punishment shall be administered only by the principal or designee.
3. The instrument to be used in administering corporal punishment shall be approved by the principal.
4. Corporal punishment shall be administered in the presence of one other District professional employee and in a designated place out of view of other students."

Retired local educator Bob Taylor said that not only was he on the receiving end of swats as a student, but he also had to administer them in his role as an assistant principal and as a principal.

"Back when I was in school the teachers had more authority over their students and we knew if we were out of line, we could get swats as punishment," he said. "I've also had to give students swats in my 36 years as an educator and I can tell you there was an equal tie in the student not wanting to get them and me not wanting to give them, but I did find they were a good last resort to prevent bad conduct in students."

Taylor said problems with corporal punishment are usually the result of people using it to a severe degree and abusing the policy.

"There are always two sides to every issue and the people against swats have reasons for it, so I understand their side too, but I saw it to be effective when I was an educator."

Parents remain divided on the issue with some ready to hand over the right to discipline their students to the schools and others taking a hard stance against it.

Anna Rosales, who has students in the fourth and sixth grade says she is all for corporal punishment in the school system, but with limitations.

"I am all for the schools being able to handle the issue at school as long as they call and tell me before punishment has been given," she said. "If my kids need to be punished for something they have done, it needs to happen at the school because that is where the incident happened. However, they also know that there will be repercussions at home as well. I think if more parents allowed corporal punishment the amount of citations the school officers have to issue would be greatly reduced."

Rosales credits her open-minded attitude toward corporal punishment to the fact that her parents raised her that way and she had an old-fashioned upbringing.

Mother of three, Charity Cihak takes the other side of the issue and refuses to allow the school to step in and administer corporal punishment to her children.

"I do not allow the school to spank my children, because I do not spank them," she said. "I have always found other ways to punish them if they deserved it and I think the school can put them in detention or something along those lines instead of spanking them. I don't think that school officials should be given the right to physically strike a child just because there is always room for questions to be raised later."

The Human Rights Watch and the ACLU are calling on the state of Texas and the federal government to prohibit corporal punishment in all public schools based on the findings in their report.

Corpun file 20525 at

NBC logo (WVTM-TV), Birmingham, Alabama, 21 August 2008

Corporal Punishment Still On The Books In Alabama

By Linda White

While corporal punishment is still on the books in Alabama, Homewood City Schools banned it ten years ago.

Since 1998, Homewood teachers and school administrators had to find other ways to discipline children.

"I think it was probably a sign of the times," said Shades Cahaba Elementary Principal Sue Grogan.

Grogan has been principal of Shades Cahaba Elementary for the last nine years. She says there's no place for corporal punishment. At Shades Cahaba, Grogan uses positive ways to correct behavior -- with character education, responsibility and respect.

"But children will be children and some children make a choice other than what you would wish," Grogan said.

To handle these types of children, procedures are in place that include warnings, notes home, parent conferences and school suspension.

But Grogan is a firm believer that children respond to adults who respect them.

"I believe when you tell a child to stop a behavior we must give them a replacement behavior that's a better one," Grogan said.

Grogan believes students will embrace a better behavior, even if it takes time. That's why she says schools and families need to work together to do that.

Twenty-nine states have banned corporal punishment, and Alabama is not one of them. © Birmingham Broadcasting (WVTM-TV), Inc.

Corpun file 20537 at


The St. Pauls Review, North Carolina, 22 August 2008


Let teachers keep their tools, including paddling

By Eddie Aters

I read with much interest, on line, the article in The Robesonian Thursday about the "School Board getting a verbal whipping" over corporal punishment.

I am a child and senior citizen advocate because the future of our world is the children and the sexagenarians and above have all the wisdom and experience and both groups are the most abused.

I feel that these groups are the most important members of our society, even though the young adults and middle-aged members of society treat these populations with aversion...

Where does a California-based group, The Hitting Stops Here, get off telling our School Board Members how to discipline our students here in Robeson County. On Ms. Paula Flowe's web page, she uses a graph to show the difference between Wake County, Durham County and Robeson County, in reading and math performance with and without paddling.

Comparing Robeson County (rural), being one of the poorest and least educated, and Wake County (urban) being one of brightest and affluent, is like comparing apples and oranges. One of my favorite courses, a sociology class in college, was called How to Lie with Statistics. One can use a graph to show anything you want to promote. Is the Hitting Stops Here group using these graphs just to promote their agenda?

To compare teachers to porn stars and prostitutes and show pictures of a bruised bottom is shock and awe, and we know what happened the last time that occurred. Our children's children will have to pay for that fiasco in Iraq.

To take the paddle away from teachers as a last resort is tantamount to taking away some of the control teachers have over students. Teachers do not get paid enough to put up with the problems that some children can put them through. Porn stars and prostitutes get paid a lot more and get about the same respect as teachers. I wonder about Ms. Flowe's fixation on porn stars and prostitutes.

Where have we gone wrong as a society? We have children killing children and children having children. We cannot touch our children without some social agency taking away our kids for child abuse and incarcerating you just because a child makes an accusation. The government tells us how to raise our children. Hell, the government cannot run the government efficiently, and that should be our first clue.

Who let the camel's nose under the tent anyway? Teachers should be looked up to as gods. There was a time when you got paddled at school you got paddled at home. If parents supported the teachers and the schools, then maybe the schools would not have to paddle.

Ms. Flowe states that use of corporal punishment is unconstitutional. I can find nowhere in the constitution where it prohibits corporal punishment of children. The closest thing I can find is Amendment V111 in the Bill of Rights and that deals with Government Abuses. I agree that teachers should not beat some child to the point that it would leave a nasty bruise, however children need to learn the boundaries to preserve an orderly and social society.

Any teacher who beats a child should be dismissed! I believe that there is a difference between a beating and a paddling. Paddling is an education!

I can recall during the first 18 years of my daughter's life that I spanked her twice. The first time was when she started 'the terrible twos,' and she held her breath and started screaming in a restaurant. She was escorted to the men's room and placed on the vanity and told that the spanking, two light pops on her bottom, was to give her something to cry about. Hurt her feeling more than anything else, because she did not feel anything because of all that lace she was wearing, but she never did that again. The second time was when she was 14 and was giving my ex-wife a horrible time. I was called to come over do something with my daughter. I walked into her room and told her to roll over. She was popped just once on her bottom to adjust her 14 going on 30 attitudes (no bruise). She never pulled that again with her mother. She was also told when she was growing up that she would respect her teachers and I did not care how sorry she felt the teacher was. If she gave them any trouble she would be punished accordingly. I never heard from any of her teachers except to say what a good student and citizen she was.

We are a product of our environment. Teachers control a lot of our environment during the primary educational years, seven to eight hours a day and a good teacher, no matter how tough, will be affectionately remembered forever.

I received two paddlings during my career in primary and secondary school and I can say that I deserved both. The teacher's job is to educate and help prepare children for the real world where Bill Gates is not going to send you any money, Micky Mouse is a real person dressed in a costume and all your boss wants you do is your job and does not care about your self-esteem. It's a tough world out there when you leave school; teachers, parents and children need all the support we can give them. To paraphrase Mr. Andrew's comment on the article in The Robesonian, "Say no to abuse and yes to the attitude adjuster."

If the Social Services cannot or will not let parents discipline children, this might be the root of our problems, then give teachers all the tools they need to do the job right. The exception being medical. Mr. Deese is right, it's the parent's choice and maybe Ms. Flowe should take on Raleigh in Wake County and let the school boards follow the law (parent's choice). However I wonder if the California School System is any kind of role model for anyone.

Corpun file 20538 at


Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Texas, 22 August 2008

Report: Minority students physically punished more than whites

By Chris Ramirez
Morris News Service

AMARILLO - Minority students, particularly those in Texas schools, were more likely to receive corporal punishment than white students, according to a study by two groups that are calling for a ban on the practice.

At least one Texas Panhandle school district defends its use, adding it only swats unruly children "as a last resort."

More than 200,000 public-school students were punished by swats during the 2006-07 school year, Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union said in a 125-page report released Wednesday.

It found Texas and Mississippi children from ages 3 to 19 were routinely physically punished for minor infractions such as chewing gum, talking back to a teacher or violating the dress code.

"This all contributes to a violent environment in schools," the report's author, Alice Farmer, said in a phone interview. "We all want safe classrooms for our children ... but there's no way to foster a safe environment under those circumstances."

Larry Appel, superintendent for the Dumas Independent School District, one of a few Panhandle districts that allows corporal punishment, said the practice, when administered appropriately, stifles bad behavior.

Farmer's report, titled "A Violent Education: Corporal Punishment of Children in U.S. Public Schools," is the product of four weeks of research in Mississippi and Texas in late 2007 and early 2008.

Special education students represent 10 percent of the state's entire enrollment.

The report did not examine schools or school districts in the Panhandle, though Farmer maintains its conclusions are applicable here.

Farmer said corporal punishment makes students withdraw, become angry and more apt to lash out at teachers or other students.

Appel said the punishment policy has been on the books in Dumas for at least 36 years. Students there are given the choice - corporal punishment, in-school suspension, or Saturday detention.

More often they chose corporal punishment, he said.

"It's a final alternative, a last option," Appel said. "If it is done in an appropriate manner, not to embarrass or demean the student, it's effective."

© 2008 The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Corpun file 20528 at

CBS logo

WYMT Mountain News at, Hazard, Kentucky, 22 August 2008

Corporal Punishment In The Classroom

By Kimberley Burcham

Corporal punishment at school is banned in 160 countries around the globe and Kentucky is one of only 21 states in the U.S. where it's still legal in schools.

Recent numbers show even though the punishment is still used, it's on the decline in the commonwealth's education system.

Jennifer Banks says corporal punishment doesn't have much of a place in her classroom at Dennis Wooton Elementary anymore even though she teaches in Kentucky where it's legal.

"When it was a little more common before, I have used the paddle, but I've not in years," Banks said.

Civil rights data from the last few years shows the number of students being punished in the form of paddling is steadily decreasing every year.

"It was pretty common back then. I think we did it because it was the way everything was done back then. But gradually it went by the wayside and we looked for different alternatives to do," Nadine Vannarsdall said.

Some parents think their children should be punished just the way they were.

"I think they would know better than to do it the next time if they did get a paddling for it. If they knew the consequence they wouldn't do the behavior," Diane Johnson said.

Before teachers can use a paddle, they have to have written permission from the parents saying they're allowed to use corporal punishment.

"Some of the parents will fill it out and bring it in front of the child and say, here I've given them permission to paddle you and some, that's all it takes," Vannarsdall said.

A new report by the ACLU finds that boys are three times more likely to be paddled than girls, African American students more often than white and special education students, also more likely to receive corporal punishment.

For now, Principal Vannarsdall says she'll keep the school's "Attitude Adjuster" put away in her drawer.

Copyright © 2002-2008 - Gray Television Group, Inc.


TV news item (1 minute 56 seconds) from WYMT Mountain News 57, Hazard, Kentucky (22 August 2008). Video report of which the above is an abbreviated text version. Elementary school principal shows a paddle marked "Attitude Adjuster", but now it is said to be little used.


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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.

Corpun file 20527 at

The Bolivar Commercial, Cleveland, Mississippi, 22 August 2008

School districts speak out on paddling study

By Landry Barbieri
Staff Writer

The issue of paddling in schools heated up in the Delta after a recent study by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union gained national attention this week.

However, many school systems in the area feel the report casts an unfair portrayal of the region's school practices.

An Associated Press report on Wednesday cited instances of corporal punishment in the Mississippi Delta.

The report included a statement by former area teacher Tiffany Bartlett, who said "the policy (in one Delta school) was to lock the classroom doors when the bell rang, leaving stragglers to be paddled by an administrator patrolling the hallways."

Using U.S. Education Department data, the civil liberties watch-group found that "Texas and Mississippi ... account for 40 percent of the 223,190 kids who were paddled at least once in the 2006-2007 school year."

The group's study also contended that though paddling in public schools and pre-schools has declined, racial disparities were evident.

The report highlighted the study's findings, including that states where paddling is most common, and black girls were paddled more than twice as often as white girls.

Boys were also found to be three times more likely to be paddled as girls and special education kids were more likely to be paddled.

"A majority of states have outlawed it, but corporal punishment remains widespread across the South. Behind Texas and Mississippi were Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Florida and Missouri," the AP report explained.

School systems across Bolivar and Sunflower counties each employ different policies in regard to corporal punishment.

While the Drew School District does use paddling as a form of punishment, according to the district handbook "the student's right to due process will be protected."

The handbook outlines that "before any determination of guilt is made, the student will be informed of the accusations made and offered the opportunity to comment on them to the principal.

"If the principal determines that corporal punishment will be issued, (paddling) will be administered in a manner that is not designed to cause ridicule, shame, or intimidation by the student's peers," the policy said.

In Drew Schools, paddling is administered by a principal, in his or her office, and a minimum of two certified employees must be witness to the punishment.

The policy also outlines the paddling routine itself, explaining that "no more than five licks will be given to elementary students and no more than seven licks will be given to students in grades seven through 12."

Upon written request, the school will provide the pupil's parents or guardian with a written explanation of the reason for the punishment and the name of the adult witness.

Parents who object to corporal punishment must submit a letter to exclude their children from corporal punishment.

The West Bolivar School District also uses corporal punishment as a method of behavior correction and also allows parents to exclude their children from the practice.

"We have a policy that permits paddling that is done by the principal in the presence of a witness," said Henry Phillips, superintendent of the West Bolivar School District. "However, parents have the option to sign a form exempting their child from corporal punishment."

Phillips noted that the district also endorses other methods to gain positive behavior from students, however, he feels paddling does have a place in schools.

The Cleveland School District has a no-corporal punishment policy that was implemented during Dr. Reggie Barnes time as superintendent.

"It has been stopped in all of our schools, elementary and high school," said Roy Jacks, assistant superintendent. "We felt that we did not get any positive results after paddling and found other methods to be more successful."

Jacks explained that many school are leaning towards rewards for positive behavior and demotions or detention and suspension for minor infractions.

"Different schools are doing different things in that regard," said Jacks. "As far as our secondary schools, we have a system of rewards, such as a clean record with good grades, no disciplinary upsets and proper attendance through the years allows a senior certain privileges."

The practice is banned in 29 states, most recently in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

The Mississippi Department of Education has not released a statement regarding the study by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union, however many Delta superintendents know where they stand on the issue.

"I think that there is an appropriate time and place for corporal punishment and that it can be used for certain infractions, rather than have that loss of instructional time," said Phillips.

Copyright © 2008 The Bolivar Commercial, a division of Cleveland Newspapers, Inc. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 20526 at


New York Post, 23 August 2008

Classroom chaos

By Michelle Malkin By Michelle Malkin

THE citizens of the world who hate America are going to love the latest agitprop released this week by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union. In a document titled "A Violent Education: Corporal Punishment of Children in US Public Schools," the left-wing groups seek to paint a horrifying portrait of the nation's classrooms as Abu Ghraib-like torture chambers.

The report compiles sob stories of students humiliated after being disciplined by school officials for unruliness, and claims that minority students are "disproportionately targeted" for punishment. Citing international law and threatening lawsuits, Human Rights Watch and the ACLU are demanding that the White House and Congress ban physical discipline in all public schools.

The report says that "more than 200,000 US public school students were punished by beatings during the 2006-2007 school year," but makes no distinction between "beatings" that take the form of mere knuckle-rapping versus swats on the backside versus over-the-line violent confrontations. In several of the anecdotes cited, it wasn't bruised bottoms that upset the supposedly brutalized students. It was bruised egos.

Peter S., a middle-school student from the Mississippi Delta, whined to the researchers: "The other kids were watching and laughing. It made me want to fight them. When you get a paddling and you see everyone laugh at you, it make you mad and you want to do something about it." How about ending your bad behavior and flying right?

Of course educators must use common sense when punishing bad apples. Of course they should be held accountable if they cause undue harm. But the agenda of these outfits is not to ensure the safety of everyone in the classroom. Their agenda is to demonize unapologetic enforcers of order and to impose international dictates on American public institutions.

The main author of the report is a special fellow with the Open Society Institute, funded by George (America must be "de-Nazified") Soros. Replete with references to the Convention against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the report declares in sweeping terms: "All corporal punishment, whether or not it causes significant physical injury, represents a violation of each student's rights to physical integrity and human dignity. It is degrading and humiliating, damaging the student's self-esteem and making him or her feel helpless." It's Gitmo all over again.

As usual, the Human Rights Watch/ACLU activists inject claims of racial discrimination into the mix - repeatedly underscoring that many of the remaining states that allow corporal punishment are in the South. They infer deliberate targeting of black students based on statistics that reportedly show that "in the 13 southern states where corporal punishment is most prevalent, African-American students are punished at 1.4 times the rate that would be expected given their numbers in the student population, and African-American girls are 2.1 times more likely to be paddled than might be expected."

But that disproportion does not automatically equal discrimination. What they don't tell you are the races or ethnicities of the victims of the thugs being disciplined. What they don't bother to mention - because it doesn't fit the "America as torturer of minorities" narrative - is the unmitigated violence perpetrated in American classrooms against minority teachers.

The recent videotaped beating of black Baltimore teacher Jolita Berry by a black female student -- as other black students cheered and screamed, "Hit her!" -- exposed the continuing chaos in inner-city districts. In that school system alone, 112 students were expelled for assaults on staff members this school year.

Federal education statistics show that between 1996 and 2000, 599,000 violent crimes against teachers at school were reported. On average, the feds say, in each year from 1996 to 2000, about 28 out of every 1,000 teachers were the victims of violent crime at school, and three out of every 1,000 were victims of serious violent crime (i.e., rape, sexual assault, robbery or aggravated assault). Violence against teachers is higher at urban schools.

America's problem isn't that we're too tough and cruel in the classroom. It's that we've become too soft and placative, too ashamed and timid to assert authority and take unilateral action to guarantee a secure environment. Exactly where the human rights groups want us.

Copyright 2008 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 20552 at

CBS logo (KOSA-TV), Odessa, Texas, 25 August 2008

Licks With a Paddle Make a Comeback in Fort Stockton

By Bill Warren

school paddleFort Stockton, TX -- In a day when corporal punishment is still out of fashion at home or at school, Fort Stockton is turning back the clock.

This school year, paddling will be more available to the teacher who wants to use it.

The decision was really made last spring in May and June. With plenty of time to comment and a public hearing, nobody complained.

FSISD Superintendent Ron Mayfield says, "If a parent is concerned and does not want their child to get corporal punishment, then they need to take the responsibility to make sure that their child knows to behave when they go to school."

The change was accomplished by dropping a sentence from the student handbook.

The sentence read, "The district shall honor a parent request that corporal punishment not be administered to his or her child; however, the district shall impose other disciplinary measures consistent with the offense."

Which means, the district need not ask parents in advance if they object to their child getting spanked.

"I have actually been told by a parent that when their child is at school, the child is no longer their responsibility, and I just don't believe that."

The licks -- usually just one, and not very forceful -- require the teacher to deliver the student to the principal's office, where either one may administer the punishment.

"I think that we've got to get the message out: that child is their child 24 hours a day, and they're responsible on how that child behaves at school."

Of course it remains to be seen how much difference the policy will make, if any.

Discipline is not a problem, Mayfield says, but students have to know the teacher is in charge, and with some this is the only way it can be done. They really think the mere threat will be enough to keep rowdy kids in check.


TV news item (1 minute 43 seconds) from CBS7 (KOSA-TV), Odessa, Texas (25 August 2008). Video version of the above report by Bill Warren. Fort Stockton ISD school superintendent explains why parents will no longer be allowed to exempt their students from corporal punishment. Paddle is shown.


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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.

Corpun file 20558 at

The Beaumont Enterprise, Texas, 27 August 2008

Southeast Texas educators say paddling rare discipline tool

By Emily Guevara

Paddled schoolgirls

Six of the seven Ozen High School students admitted to being paddled at least one time by school officials throughout their elementary and secondary education. Tammy McKinley/The Enterprise

It was the first day of school, and Rhonda Flanagan's eighth-grade son already had gotten a paddling.

The Austin Middle School student hadn't heard the coach's message of no cleats in the building, so he got a couple of licks Monday.

"He wasn't mad or nothing. He was grinning," said Flanagan, 39, who approves of the discipline method. "He was all right, because he knew he was wrong."

Flanagan is among area parents who are OK with corporal punishment. She approves of the discipline and in the past has signed paperwork allowing for the discipline if necessary.

"A couple of licks, I'm cool with it and nothing more. That's how it should be," said Flanagan, a Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission accounts examiner.

An American Civil Liberties Union report this month showed that Texas has the nation's most reported incidents of corporal punishment, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Education.

During the 2006-07 school year, 49,197 Texas students were paddled. Nationwide, 223,190 students received corporal punishment at least once, according to the report.

Locally, educators say that corporal punishment, typically paddling, is a last resort. At least three of the region's five largest school districts -- Beaumont, Port Arthur and Nederland -- confirmed that it is a discipline method that school policy allows. Vidor and Port Neches-Groves school districts could not be reached for comment.

The punishment has its good points in educators' minds. In a time when every classroom minute counts, corporal punishment disciplines without pulling a student from the class for an extended time period, such as for an in-school suspension, said David Harris, BISD's assistant superintendent for secondary schools.

Harris said parents sign a document at the beginning of the year checking either "yes" or "no" for corporal punishment. This also is the case in Port Arthur and Nederland, according to school officials.

Harris said a witness always is present when corporal punishment is administered.

"It's not something that we like to do," Harris said. "Generally when corporal punishment takes place, it's not just corporal punishment, it's also just the counseling that takes place with that. So kids need to understand it's not a malicious thing."

Tanya Goldbeck, a licensed professional counselor, said corporal punishment can be effective if students know it is a consequence for a specific action beforehand.

"When it's not healthy or not of any value at all is when it's used as a form of frustration reaction," said Goldbeck, who has worked with children and adolescents for almost 40 years. "And that means no identified plan, no purpose or not a clear purpose, and that would lead to no value whatsoever."

Though school districts keep track of their discipline internally, it is not something they must report to the state. Other disciplinary measures, like expulsion or in-school suspension, must be reported.

In the Hardin-Jefferson school district, corporal punishment seldom is used, said Mary Alice Jones, communications director. She said in-school suspension, Saturday school and after-school suspension offer alternatives that didn't exist in the "old days."

The close community also limits the need for corporal punishment.

"These are principals that have been here, and they know the parents and they know the students," said Jones, previously a middle school and high school principal. "I've been here 35 years."

Parents have mixed feelings about the punishment.

Tina Garcia, 39, mother of a Vincent Middle School seventh-grader, said she opposes corporal punishment in schools.

"I feel like no one should hit another person's child -- bottom line," she said. "You're responsible for disciplining your child."

Students have their own thoughts about the effectiveness of the punishment.

At Clifton J. Ozen Magnet High School, seven members of the Student Council spirit committee provided their opinions on the matter.

"I don't think it's hurting, but it's pointless," said Nawanna Bazil, 16, who was paddled last year after being caught with her cell phone in class.

The students said it seldom affects them or their classmates.

"It's nothing to them," said Danreielle Bernard, 16, a junior. "Don't you realize if you have to paddle the same kids every day, they don't care?"

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