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School CP - September 2008

Corpun file 20589


The People's Defender, West Union, Ohio, 3 September 2008

AC/OV spankings on the decline

By Carleta Weyrich


Adams County/Ohio Valley School district held its annual public corporal punishment meeting on Aug. 25 to discuss the use of spanking in its schools. AC/OVSD is one of 17 districts in the state of Ohio to permit its staff to spank students.

"The number of students who receive corporal punishment in the district has declined," said Rodney Wallace, supervisor of state and federal programs for the district. Five years ago, corporal punishment was used on 60 students in four of the buildings which still remain in AC/OVSD (after the Manchester split). Of those students, 14 were spanked more than once. During that school year, Peebles High School, West Union High School and Ohio Valley Career and Technical Center did not use corporal punishment.

During the past two school years, corporal punishment was used in only two of the district's seven school buildings. A total of 11 students were spanked at North Adams Elementary and Peebles Elementary combined during the 2007-08 school year. One of the students at Peebles was spanked twice.

"There are two reasons for the decline, alternative programs and liability," Wallace said. From suggestions the district received at past public meetings, the district added a teacher at the Alternative School and expanded its services to the elementary level. Additional training for teachers in classroom management/behavior techniques, emotionally disturbed units for students and the SAFE Schools program were among the suggestions implemented.

"There is a bill in the House that will eliminate corporal punishment," said Wallace. "If it is passed into law, our district will be prepared with the programs we already have in place."

House Bill 406 was introduced in September of 2007 by Jon M. Peterson (R), District 2, and Brian G. Williams (D), District 41. Language in the submitted bill states, "No person employed or engaged as a teacher, principal, administrator, nonlicensed school employee or bus driver in a public school may inflict or cause to be inflicted corporal punishment as a means of discipline upon a pupil attending such school."

However, HB 406 does permit use of force in a threatening situation. It also states, "Persons employed or engaged as teachers, principals, or administrators in a school, whether public or private, and nonlicensed school employees and school bus drivers may, within the scope of their employment, use and apply such amount of force and restraint as is reasonable and necessary to quell a disturbance threatening physical injury to others, to obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects upon the person or within the control of the pupil, for the purpose of self defense, or for the protection of persons or property."

The bill is currently in the hands of the Education Committee.

Content © 2008 People's Defender

Corpun file 20587


Plainview Daily Herald, Texas, 8 September 2008

Michael Black Column

Who says licks aren't effective?

Press cutting

I recently read article [sic] that stated that more than 200,000 children were spanked in America's schools. One of the authors, Alice Farmer, went on to say that, "Corporal punishment discourages learning, fails to deter future misbehavior and, at times, even provokes it."

Thou I may agree that swats -- or licks as they were called in my day -- are not always the most effective form of school discipline, I have a hard time getting behind Ms. Farmer's statement.

First, I must admit that there is probably an exception to every rule. However, I have seen and heard about many kids getting licks and not once have I known it to discourage learning. I have even been on the receiving end of said corporal punishment and not once did the thought enter my mind, "You know what, I'm not gonna study since I got licks for being late to class."

Even in my home my mother and father were not opposed to using spanking as a form of discipline, which leads to the second point, that corporal punishment fails to deter future misbehavior. Might I say that in my 12 years of school not once did I forget the licks that I received for my errant behavior. And even thou I continued to break some rules, others I never did again because of the punishment reward scale that was in my head. This is the scale where you decide if being late to class is worth having to see Mr. McBee. No!

Now for her last point, that corporal punishment provokes misbehavior. Are you kidding me? Not once did I say, "I going to do it again just because you gave me licks." I know tough guys and mean ones but never did I hear of anyone doing something worse just because they got licks. Again, let me state that there are exceptions to every rule and there may be some people out there who actually may have done these things.

I do agree with Ms. Farmer when she says, "We need forms of discipline that make children understand why what they did was wrong." I don't know what can be used for everyone, but I do know that if they ever had to call James or Elizabeth Black you can be sure whatever it was I did would never be done again. Parental involvement has to be key. No form of discipline will ever be as effective as we would want without follow up at home.

(Michael Black is director of MR services at Tommy Lewis Industries.)

Copyright © 2008 - Plainview Daily Herald

Corpun file 20595


The Daily Record, Dunn, N. Carolina, 9 September 2008

Harnett Schools Ban Spanking

By Tom Woerner
Harnett County News Editor



The Harnett County School Board stopped the long-standing practice of corporal punishment at its regular meeting Monday night.

Superintendent Dan Honeycutt said the corporal punishment policy was being changed because most principals weren't using it anyway.

"Our principals believe they have strategies to deal with students that don't involve corporal punishment," Mr. Honeycutt said. "We don't feel there is a need for this policy and almost all of our principals weren't using it anyway."

Mr. Honeycutt said the previous policy was also too strict be effective. Previously, corporal punishment was used as a secondary way to punish children after other measures were used. The punishment had to be administered in front of another teacher, out of site of students. Parents were notified only after the punishment was administered.

Board Vice Chair Billy Tart agreed that it was time to remove the policy.

"We just thought it was time to change our policy when it comes to corporal punishment," Mr. Tart said.

Locally, Johnston County banned corporal punishment this year. Sampson County has not used the punishment for four years.


Corpun file 20605

NBC logo (WGEM-TV), Quincy, Illinois, 18 September 2008

(N.B. Quincy is on the border between Illinois and Missouri, and this item is actually about Missouri)

Is corporal punishment still practiced?

By Katey Walls

School punishment paddle

Did you think corporal punishment was a thing of the past?

Think again. By Missouri law, corporal punishment is legal.

And one tri-state mother was shocked when she made the move from Illinois -- a state where paddling is prohibited -- to Missouri.

"I was dumb-founded. I couldn't believe this was happening in 2008," Susie Crawford said. "When I called the school, they said they don't use their hands, they use a paddle."

Crawford's children go to Clark County schools, where the officials say paddling is only done rarely; about a dozen times a year.

School officials say the offense must warrant the punishment of out of school suspension, a witness must be there during the paddling and the parents must consent.

"Yeah, it's always a choice. A parents' choice. In many cases it's out of school suspension or swats," said Clark County superintendent Richie Kracht.

Kracht says it's an effective form of disciple and keeps kids in class learning.

"Last year we had 11 students who received corporal punishment. Only one of those was a repeat offender, that got in a trouble for a similar offense," Kracht said. "Whereas 17 students were suspended out of school, 13 of those students were suspended again."

But Crawford isn't convinced.

"School is a place where kids can go and feel safe no matter what's going on in their homes, in their life," said Crawford.

Kracht says it's the only complaint he's heard in 5 years.

Other districts in northeast Missouri that practice corporal punishment are North Shelby and Novinger, both officials say it's rare, an average of five times a year in Novinger and even less in North Shelby schools.

"We don't impose corporal punishment, nor allow teachers or volunteers to impose corporal punishment," David Tramel said.

Lewis County has a similar policy to Canton prohibiting corporal punishment.

But most schools in the area allow corporal punishment in their written policy.

That includes Palmyra, Monroe City, Lurray, Revere, Ralls County, Shelby County and more. But school official from all say it hasn't been practiced in years.

Districts that practice corporal punishment:
North Shelby
Clark County

Districts that prohibit corporal punishment in written policy:
Lewis County

Districts whose written policy allow corporal punishment, but it's not practiced:
Bowling Green
Monroe City
Shelby County
Clopton/Pike County
Ralls County

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2008 WorldNow and WGEM. All Rights Reserved.


A two-minute TV news clip from WGEM-TV, Quincy IL (18 September 2008) of which the above is a text version. Once again we have some woman (it always does seem to be a woman) moving house from a non-paddling state to a paddling state and indignantly professing herself "dumbfounded" to discover that corporal punishment in schools is a thing, having apparently imagined the USA to be legally and culturally homogeneous. What do they suppose would be the point of having a democratic federal system with different states, if the elected representatives in those states could not vote for laws that are different from the laws in some other states? And why don't these people take the elementary precaution of finding out what life is like in another place before deciding to live there?


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 20612

NBC logo (KYTV-TV), Springfield, Missouri, 28 September 2008

Principal not charged in paddling incident

By Chad Plein
KY3 News

Larry Sorrells

Former Southwest High School Principal, Larry Sorrells worst nightmare came true in April after giving a student two "swats".

"There's always a concern whenever you have swats at your school," Sorrells said. "The principal's career could be potentially at risk."

After Laura Fletcher told the school to give her daughter the swats instead of an in school suspension, the family made a hotline call on Sorrells.

"I never would have allowed the swats if I knew there'd be physical harm," Laura Fletcher told KY3 in an April interview.

"I did everything according to school policies," Sorrells said.

Over time, both the Division of Social Services and Barry County dismissed the case. Prosecutor Johnnie Cox told KY3, "(Larry Sorrells had) no intentional act [sic] to cause injury."

Inside the Barry County incident report, the student admitted to having a medical condition which pressure or friction to the skin causes raised, reddish marks. Something school officials say they didn't know before the swats.

Copyright © 2008 Copyright KY3, Inc. All rights reserved.


TV news clip (2 mins 35 seconds) from KY3 TV, Springfield (28 September 2008) of which the above is an abbreviated text version. The principal (who now works in a different district) gives his side of the story, saying he did everything according to the book, and would not have paddled the girl if he had been told that she had a skin condition that causes raised marks under pressure. The question not asked in the report is why on earth the girl's mother asked the school to administer corporal punishment when she should have known what the result would be.

Mentioned in passing in the video, and not in the above online text summary, is that Southwest school district has since abolished CP.


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

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