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School CP - March 2009

Corpun file 21204

Fox News logo (KOKI-TV), Tulsa, Oklahoma, 5 March 2009

Spanking In Schools

Rebecca Smith
Reported by:
Rebecca Smith

Tulsa, OK-- Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Union and Jenks don't allow corporal punishment in schools.

That's why staff from TPS' Hawthorne Elementary are under fire for possibly spanking kids even though their parents may have OK'd it.

"If we were to determine that corporal punishment was used and the parents were not aware, then there could be the issue of whether or not criminal activity has been involved," said Gary Rudick, Chief for TPS Campus Police.

A parental stamp of approval is what's needed for an Owasso student to be spanked.

Paddle That district's one of only a few in Oklahoma still practicing corporal punishment.

"It is still an option, it's there," said David Hall, Assistant Superintendent at Owasso Public Schools.

Even more rare, administrators say, is how often it's used.

"I've been here five years and I don't recall but maybe one or two times," said Hall.

Spanking students is also on the minds of state lawmakers.

An amendment included in a Senate bill making its way through the legislature would ban male teachers or principals from paddling female students and vise-versa.

Hall says, that hasn't been an issue for the district.

The bill that includes the corporal punishment amendment passed the state Senate. Now it needs to pass the House.

Corpun file 21203

NBC logo

KTAL-TV (NBC), Shreveport, Louisiana, 9 March 2009

Legislator Wants Ban on Paddling Students

Reported by Karen Hopkins

Schools throughout Louisiana paddle children as a form of punishment, but a state representative is working to make it illegal.

Hitting a child with a paddle is legal in about 20 states, including the entire Arklatex. "The principal had her bend over and touch the chair and get paddled five times," Midway Elementary Student Brittany Butler said.

The Caddo middle school student knows how corporal punishment works. She witnessed another child being paddled just two months ago, for acting up. "She was flipping off teacher and jumping on desks."

According to the Caddo Parish handbook, principals can paddle a child just three times, using extreme caution. "For some students, the threat of being paddled is enough to keep them in line." Linear Teacher Cedric Choyce said.

Choyce says he's paddled students before, and as a child, he experienced it firsthand. "I felt pain coming on but it didn't scar me to the point I would fear the pain."

Many parents don't want educators spanking their children. "I'm not against them being disciplined, but we don't know who's going to be spanking your child and the force that they're going to use." Leah Carter, of Bossier Parish, requested no paddling for her sons. Most schools in our area allow parents to make that decision. "I don't have a problem with my children being paddled in school because it gives them a sense that they have to respect the authority of teachers and principals," Caddo Parish Mom Danielle Butler said.

But striking can get out of hand. Caddo Parish is investigating three teachers for impermissible corporal punishment, according to the Caddo Federation of Teachers. "Paddling out of anger, that's when you get carried away and some kids get abused," Choyce said.

Teachers say corporal punishment doesn't happen often. Bossier paddled 40 students in 2008.

Desoto does it about 4 times a month, and Caddo says it's rare. But the effect can last for years, according to a Shreveport psychologist. "They don't feel comfortable in school, they feel threatened often times, growing into adulthood this leaves emotional scars," Dr. Gerald Baker said.

Scars that State Representative Barbara Norton hopes don't touch another child. She's working on a bill to end corporal punishment in Louisiana. "I'm concerned not only about my grandchild, I'm concerned about all children." Norton says she hopes her bill will strike down paddling.

A 1977 supreme court ruling didn't find paddling as cruel and unusual punishment. Without a national law banning it, the decision is left up to states.

Copyright © 1998 - 2009 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved.

blob Follow-up: 17 June 2009 - School corporal punishment ban blocked

Corpun file 21159


Tallahassee Democrat, Florida, 19 March 2009

Crawfordville Elementary School administrator under investigation

By Nic Corbett
Democrat Staff Writer

Screenshot -- CLICK TO ENLARGE -- Image will open in a new window
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A Crawfordville Elementary School administrator is under investigation by the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office after a parent complained about the paddling of her 11-year-old child.

The parent "felt like the child had been abused," said Maj. Maurice Langston of the Sheriff's Office.

Superintendent David Miller said the Wakulla County School Board, like others in Florida, allows the use of corporal punishment.

"It would be for gross insubordination, fighting, things of that nature," he said. "It would be for things that are more severe. It might be used as an alternative to suspension."

What the child was disciplined for will be part of the investigation, Miller said. He said he'll take "appropriate action" once the investigation is complete.

Florida statutes state a teacher or principal may administer corporal punishment only in the presence of another adult who is informed beforehand and in the student's presence of the reason for punishment. At the parent's request, the teacher or principal must provide a written explanation of the reason and the name of the other adult.

Corpun file 21229 (ABC24/CW30 Eyewitness News), Memphis, Tennessee, 27 March 2009

Paddling Protest At Memphis Charter School


Holmes Reported by: Kevin Holmes

Protest banners

MEMPHIS, TN - Friday, March 27, 2009, members of a California based "anti-corporal punishment" group stood outside the Memphis Academy of Health Sciences. They handed out flyers and talked to parents about paddling, which the group calls legalized child abuse. The group is called "The Hitting Stops Here." Director Paula Flowe says hitting a child in school sends the wrong message. "We're teaching our children how to handle conflicts. Are you saying the way to handle a conflict is by hurting another human being that did something you don't approve of?"


But many parents don't mind. The disciplinary procedures are the reason Lakeisha Rayburn plans on enrolling her daughter Brianna next fall. "I think that's part of the problem with kids in public school."

In 2004, corporal punishment was banned by Memphis City Schools. Ever since the ban, Rayburn feels MCS has gotten out of control. Flowe says corporal punishment however, is not the way to restore it. "Today's spanked child is tomorrow's prey for a pedophile. Cause you've already shown that child this is not your body. I'll do as I please."

The principal at Memphis Academy of Health Sciences released this written statement:

"In 2003, during our first year of operation, we did not use corporal punishment during the first half of the school year. During that time our students perceived our disciplinary policies as weak and ineffective."

The next semester the school incorporated corporal punishment and says behavior problems have diminished significantly. Faculty members also stress to that Memphis Academy of Health Sciences is a charter school. Parents choose to enroll their children there and before they do, they know about the disciplinary procedures.

Corporal punishment is still legal in 21 states including Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi.

© 2009 Newport Television LLC

Corpun file 21232

ABC logo (WKRN2TN) (ABC), Nashville, Tennessee, 31 March 2009

Maury Co. schools consider a ban on corporal punishment

Teacher with paddle

When it comes to disciplining students in Maury County, corporal punishment may soon no longer be an option.

Under the current rules, a student can be disciplined, as a last resort, by being hit three times with a paddle, as long as the parents consent.

While there is some support for paddling in the community, the Maury County School Board is looking at banning corporal punishment because of the potential for legal liability.

James Pennings represents District IV on the Maury County School Board.

"There's a big difference between paddling and abuse unfortunately sometimes that line can be crossed and not even meant to be crossed," he told News 2.

School classroom

Pennings said he was paddled in school but thinks times have changed and corporal punishment isn't the only way to discipline.

"I think there are better ways, detention is one of them, extra homework would be one," he continued.

The school board gave the initial okay to ban corporal punishment this month and is expected to approve the ban at the next meeting.

Some parents believe teachers should still be allowed to paddle students and think the district will be losing an effective tool.

Kim Brenner's kids are in private school but said it's a matter of trust.

"I think that one of our problems in our school system is that we don't trust the people that have been hired and put in place to teach our children," said Brenner.

Students in school hallway

Darryl McKennon's kids attend Maury County Schools. He supports paddling.

"I don't want them, like I said, to go overboard on it, but I think paddling would help out more than time-out would," he said.

The Tennessee Department of Education does not track which school districts paddle students and which do not.

Metro Nashville schools banned the practice in 2002.

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2009 WorldNow and WKRN. All Rights Reserved.

Corpun file 21235


The Dallas Morning News, Texas, 31 March 2009

Principal suspended for paddling incident

Coach's punishment of student occurred 2 years ago, trustee Price says

By Tawnell D. Hobbs
Staff Writer

Lincoln High School principal Earl Jones has been disciplined over an incident that involved a coach paddling a student.

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Dallas school trustee Ron Price, whose district includes Lincoln, said that last week Jones was given a 20-day suspension without pay and a reassignment to another campus next school year.

Corporal punishment, or paddling, is prohibited in the Dallas Independent School District.

Price said it's not fair to punish a principal for a coach's actions.

"He's been with DISD over 20-plus years, a high school principal at Lincoln for 12 years," he said. "I'm very furious about the fact that they would try to suspend the principal. No one should be sent to the gas chamber if they didn't commit the crime."

A Dallas schools spokesman would not confirm or deny the suspension and reassignment on Monday, saying it's a personnel matter, and he wouldn't discuss the paddling issue under the advice of the district's legal counsel.

Press cutting -- CLICK TO ENLARGE -- Image will open in a new window
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Jones did not return a call left at the school. It's not clear when his suspension goes into effect.

Price said the incident happened about two years ago and Jones was just told of the suspension on Thursday, a day after The Dallas Morning News made inquiries to the district about the paddling incident. The district's Office of Professional Responsibility has reviewed the situation.

Despite The News' request, the district has provided no information about what occurred.

Price identified the coach as Jerry Sands, former football coach at Lincoln. Sands was placed on administrative leave last year for violating campus policy in an undisclosed incident. He wouldn't comment last week on the paddling incident that allegedly involved a boat paddle. But Sands said he still works for DISD.

Price said the student wanted back on the football team and was given an option by Sands to take "licks" to rejoin the team. Price said the student took the licks.

Jones didn't find out about the incident until six weeks after it occurred, Price said. He added that Jones verbally reprimanded the coach and told him he would be fired if it happened again.

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