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School CP - February 2009

Corpun file 21051 at

Newark Advocate, Ohio, 6 February 2009

Ohio schools plan carries corporal punishment ban

By Lisa Cornwell
Associated Press

Gov. Ted Strickland's budget bill will contain a statewide ban on corporal punishment in schools, a change that would take the decision on whether to allow spanking and other forms of physical discipline out of the hands of local school boards.

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Strickland's education policy adviser, John Stanford, said during a Thursday press briefing that the administration views the change as key to creating ideal learning environments for Ohio children.

The proposal will be part of sweeping education reforms the governor announced during his recent State of the State speech, according to Amanda Wurst, a spokeswoman for the governor.

"The governor does not believe that corporal punishment has a place in a 21st century classroom," Wurst said.

In the 2006-07 school year, 672 students received corporal punishment in Ohio, according to Human Rights Watch.

An official with the Columbus-based Center for Effective Discipline, said her group and others have worked hard to get such a ban in Ohio and she is hopeful the latest proposal will succeed.

"It's banned by 29 states, and it's time for Ohio to join them," said Nadine Block, executive director of the national nonprofit group that provides information to the public on effects of corporal punishment and alternatives. "The practice has been going down every year, and it's really lost its public acceptance."

Some of the states that ban paddling include Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

A limited ban enacted in Ohio in 1994 prohibits spanking and other forms of physical discipline unless a school board follows several procedures before voting to allow it. Parents in those districts can refuse to have their children paddled.

"That law left a loophole for districts to keep paddling," Block said.

Since the 1994 legislation, bills have been introduced periodically to expand the ban but never have resulted in further action.

While some national education groups haven't taken a position on paddling, the national PTA thinks paddling should be banned everywhere. The group's president, Jan Harp Domene, has said paddling perpetuates a cycle of child abuse.

Ohio legislative leaders haven't weighed in on the governor's proposal yet.

"The Senate caucus hasn't had a chance to discuss the bill yet," said Maggie Ostrowski, spokeswoman for Senate President Bill Harris, a Republican.

A message seeking comment from House Speaker Armond Budish was left at his office.


1985: Bill passed allowing local school districts to ban paddling

1989: Bill passed requiring districts to report how many children were paddled and how many times they were paddled.

1993: Bill passed prohibiting spanking and other forms of physical discipline unless a school board follows several procedures before voting to allow it. Parents in those districts can refuse to have their children paddled.
Source: Center for Effective Discipline


Research shows corporal punishment is used more with minority children and in certain states.

Black students and Native Americans are more than twice as likely to be paddled than their white counterparts.

Texas and Mississippi accounted for the highest number of students receiving physical punishment in 2006-07, with more than 49,000 in Texas and more than 38,000 in Mississippi.

Source: Education Department study data


News report (2 mins 44 secs) from WBNS-10TV, Columbus, OH, 6 Feb 2009: "Ohio Could Ban Spanking in Schools". Brittany Westbrook reports on Gov. Strickland's proposal. Interviews with an anti-spanking parent and with Nadine Block of the Center for Effective Discipline. Map of paddling districts in Ohio, and statistics: the numbers are already very small.


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 21066 at

Ashland Times-Gazette, Ohio, 7 February 2009

Paddling ban would hit home

By Courtney Albon
T-G Staff Writer

Nestled in Gov. Ted Strickland's proposed education reform plan, among extended school years and conversion levies, is a proclamation banning corporal punishment in Ohio public schools.

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If the ban sticks, Ohio will be one of 30 states that have banned spanking in school.

Only 17 Ohio school districts allow some form of corporal punishment, one of which is Hillsdale Local Schools. Hillsdale Elementary and Jeromesville Middle School principals reported at least five cases of spanking this school year -- four at the elementary school and one at the middle school. Hillsdale High School principal Kevin Reidy said he hasn't had to administer the punishment any of the five years he's been an administrator.

The Ohio Senate in 1994 passed a limited paddling ban, which allowed boards of education to decide whether the practice would be allowed in their districts. The Hillsdale board commissioned community members to form a committee to determine whether the community approved of the practice. Superintendent Joel Roscoe said the community was "overwhelmingly in favor" of the punishment, prompting the board to pass a resolution allowing the use of corporal punishment to continue.

Roscoe said district administrators keep in close contact with parents to make sure they are comfortable with the punishment. Jeromesville Middle School principal Tom Gaus said he will not paddle a child unless a parent is present.

"Parents have to come in and witness it. I always want to make sure we're on the same side," Gaus said.

In his 11 years as an administrator, Gaus said he has only paddled three children.

Hillsdale Elementary School principal Mike Shambre said he spanks about four children each year, but only as a last resort and with parental permission.

Shambre said "the board" usually sends a strong message to kids that don't respond to other disciplinary methods.

"To be honest, I hate to see it go," Shambre said. "I'm not a believer in beating kids, but, hey, it worked for me."

Strickland said in a Thursday press release that the move was "key to creating ideal learning environments for Ohio children" and doesn't fit in a 21st century classroom.

According to the most recent information compiled by the Center for Effective Discipline -- a nonprofit organization against corporal punishment -- 672 children were paddled in Ohio schools during the 2006-07 school year.

blob Follow-up: 15 July 2009 - Items buried in the budget affect ... corporal punishment [Governor signs abolition bill]

Corpun file 21069 at


The Birmingham News, Alabama, 10 February 2009

Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford calls for doubling of police presence in city

By Joseph Bryant and Thomas Spencer
Birmingham News

Police Chief Roper
Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper reports more than 250 arrests during school year at Birmingham Schools.

Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford today called for a doubling of the number of Birmingham police officers serving city schools.

In his opening statement during the Birmingham City Council meeting, Langford described a visit to a high school Monday where he saw students being disrespectful, and wearing hoods and sagging pants.

After the school principal asked for help controlling the students, Langford contacted Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper to get a picture of what is happening in the schools.

Roper told the council this morning that police have made more than 250 arrests in schools since August for offenses such as fighting, drugs and weapons possession. Roper said 40 arrests were made in January and 17 already in February.

Roper said there at 15 officers serving in the city's schools.

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"We're now having to patrol our schools like we do our neighborhoods," Langford said.

Langford repeated his refrain that parents need to be more assertive in controlling their children and deplored restrictions that prevent teachers from using corporal punishment to discipline children.

"Only thing wrong with these kids can be solved by a good old fashioned butt whipping," Langford said.

Langford said he wanted to aggressively remove disruptive students from the schools.

Corpun file 21074 at

Goose Creek Gazette, South Carolina, 11 February 2009

School board recognizes National Board Certified teachers

By Stefan Rogenmoser
Goose Creek Gazette


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One superintendent and 29 teachers in the Berkeley County School District received special recognition at the school board's regular meeting last Tuesday at the district office in Moncks Corner.


In other business:


-- The board deleted a 47 year old "outdated" corporal punishment policy that until last week, allowed principals and teachers to administer corporal punishment when less severe control measures appeared ineffective.


Copyright © 2008 Summerville Communications, Inc

Corpun file 21115 at

Marshall Democrat-News, Missouri, 13 February 2009

Malta Bend school board discusses cost-cutting, corporal punishment

By Sydney Stonner
Staff writer


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The 2009-2010 school year at Malta Bend School will start on Aug. 24, 2009, the school board decided at its meeting Thursday, Feb. 12. The board chose this option instead of an earlier date to avoid student absences during the Missouri State Fair, which runs Aug. 13-23.


Another action item the board approved concerned corporal punishment. Principal Roger Feagan said one parent had approached him in favor of using corporal punishment for children at school. The board moved to create a permission letter for parents to sign if they want to permit their children to be spanked at school.

In other business, the board heard from two individuals during public participation time.


© Copyright 2009, Marshall Democrat-News

Corpun file 22004 at

The Post-Searchlight, Bainbridge, Georgia, 17 February 2009

Boy bruised from paddling

By Taylor Seay

BRUISING ON A 9-YEAR-OLD Potter Street Elementary student after the use of corporal punishment (paddling) took place three times in one day.

The Decatur County School Board is investigating the use of corporal punishment (paddling) on a child attending Potter Street Elementary School that occurred on Feb. 6.

The 9-year-old student was paddled three times in one day by school administrator Jeanette Grimsley, according to the incident report filed by the child's mother, Christina White. She told police she became aware of the bruising when her child got home from school and complained of having pain from being paddling.

Superintendent Ralph Jones said the Board of Education is investigating the matter, specifically the legality and policy matters surround the specific incident and the use of corporal punishment.

The parent did give consent for the child to be paddled, and bruising was apparent from the punishment, according to Jones.

The superintendent expressed the need for professional judgment when corporal punishment is used.

"The main issue is not the paddling, but the number of times the student was paddled. We have great concerns and will be addressing it as a school board," said Jones. The next meeting of the Board of Education is scheduled Thursday, Feb. 19.

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He elaborated saying the currently school board policy pertaining to paddling does not define the number of times a child can be paddled, although there is an underlying point when it is evident that the punishment is no longer beneficial.

"We do not condone paddling excessively," Jones said. "Like any other policy, it must be used in good judgment."

The superintendent said the student had prior disciplinary problems and other individual behavioral plan strategies were used prior to the paddling. He also noted that although the BOE does not condone excessive paddling, the possibility of bruising is always apparent when corporal punishment is used.

Jones said upon completion of the investigation, the case will be reviewed in executive session at the Board of Education's Feb. 19 meeting. He expects a lengthy discussion on corporal punishment and a review of the current policy to see if there is a need for change.

At the request of the child's mother, the Decatur County Sheriff's Office is also conducting an investigation into the event. Investigator Brian Donalson has conducted interviews with the child, mother and has scheduled interviews with school officials, said Sheriff Griffin.

Griffin said the investigation is specifically to find out if there was intent to do harm to the child.

Pictures of the bruising that occurred from the paddling were provided to Sheriff's investigators by the White.

© 2010 The Post-Searchlight. All rights reserved.

Corpun file 21116 at

Brenham Banner-Press, Texas, 21 February 2009

Grand jury no-bills principal in spanking case

By Alan Nieschwietz
Staff Reporter


A Washington County grand jury has declined to indict an elementary school principal accused by a student's parent of using excessive force in administering corporal punishment.

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The jury refused to issue an indictment against Calvin Kossie, principal of Alton Elementary School.

The case stemmed from a parent's complaint to police that Kossie used excessive force in spanking their child.

Family members of the child, 5, claimed the spanking Kossie gave their child left bruises on his buttocks.

The family members had signed a school district consent form giving school administrators permission to physically discipline the child, and as per district policy, they were phoned before the incident took place, district officials said.

Prior to being no billed by the grand jury, an internal investigation conducted by the Brenham school district had cleared Kossie of wrongdoing in the matter.

Kossie has been an educator for 35 years, and principal at Alton for the past seven, during each of which the school was rated "recognized" or "exemplary."

District Attorney William Parham said he had no comment on the matter other to say that "as in any grand jury, we (the prosecutors) are not part of the deliberations," and therefore couldn't offer a specific reason for the grand jury's no-billing of Kossie.

The job of a grand jury is not to decide guilt or innocence, but to determine if prosecutors have enough evidence to charge a suspect with a crime and to take them to trial for it.

Parham said the grand jury's action, or lack thereof in this situation, speaks for itself.

Brenham school district officials declined to comment, although Jon Forsythe, director of student services, said administrators were confident policy guidelines were followed.


Copyright © 2009 The Brenham Banner-Press

Corpun file 21102 at

logo (WREG-TV News Channel 3), Memphis, Tennessee, 25 February 2009

Charter School Discipline

Memphis Academy for Health Sciences discipline practices questioned

By Stephanie Scurlock

Fast Facts:

  • Parents say Memphis Academy for Health Sciences disciplines unfairly
  • MAHS paddles students who act up in front of assembly of student body weekly
  • Charter school board member says discipline keeps school safe
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Antonius Hart and his wife Rachel wanted a good learning environment for their sons so they chose Memphis Academy for Health Sciences, a charter school. However, they're wondering if the charter school system, one that allows each individual school to set their [sic] own rules, is a good one and if more oversight isn't needed.

"It's been ran [sic] like he's a dictator, an enforcer," said Hart, the student's father.

The Harts' 9th grade son was told to leave the school for good after he threw an obscene finger gesture at a teacher. First, he was paddled during what's called chapel. That's when every Friday students who misbehave are brought into an assembly and disciplined before the entire student body.

Hart said, "I guess its like some kind of primitive humiliation type thing. They whoop them in front of all of them. I guess this is to show if we enforce this right here, this is what's going to happen to you."

School signboardAfter the paddling, the school decided that wasn't enough. The principal sent Hart's son a message on the son's personal cell phone. The message said, "Tomorrow you will be suspended as a result you will have to transfer from MAHS. I still can't believe what you did. It cannot be justified."

The Harts say the school should have called a parent. Plus, they say he'd already been punished once.

The director of the board for MAHS wouldn't give us an on camera interview because he says this is one situation that involves one set of parents and in doing so, it would overshadow all the good things his school is doing.

In a telephone interview Bernal Smith II told News Channel 3, "We tell our parents up front. Corporal punishment is a part of our discipline program. It's a part of what allows us to keep a safe sound environment in our school."

As for as paddling students in front of the student body, Smith said, "We use that so the rest of the students that witness that, it's a deterrent for them not to behave in the same way."

The Harts believe because they have spoken out against the charter school's discipline practices, their other son, a special needs student at the school. He is currently suspended for hitting another student in the back. The Harts say their son denies hitting anyone.

Smith won't talk about specifics concerning the Hart children but he says it is unconscionable to think anyone at the school has an axe to grind with any student.

News Channel 3 has called the Tennessee Department of Education to find out how much autonomy charter schools have when it comes to discipline. We were told the person we needed to talk to was in a conference all week. News Channel 3 will keep you posted about what they say.

Copyright 2009, WREG-TV


News report (2 mins 57 secs) from WREG-TV News Channel 3, Memphis, TN, 25 Feb 2009: "Charter School Discipline". Stephanie Scurlock with the video version of the above story. The parents are interviewed.


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.

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