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School CP - April 1936

Corpun file 16366

Time, New York, 27 April 1936


Unspared Rods

If a celebrated classroom caitiff like Peck's Bad Boy or Huckleberry Finn were to cut his swath through a U. S. school today, he would probably get off with a restrained scolding. In most of the nation's schools, use of the corrective rod is prohibited by law. New York City, Chicago, Wilmington and Washington forbid all forms of corporal punishment in their educational systems. Erring moppets in Minneapolis, Omaha, El Paso and Providence may be chastised only with parental consent. Teachers in Los Angeles and Portland, Ore. are not allowed to pull pupils' ears. In New Orleans they are expressly enjoined from "pulling hair, striking, knocking down and pinching." Nevertheless, in three widely separated quarters of the nation last week, three teachers who had failed to spare the rod to recalcitrant students were upheld by the law or their superiors:

In Iowa Hill, Calif., because Wilbur Randall planned to put a frisky frog under the school bell, then twisted the arm of a younger pupil who threatened to tattle, Teacher Leona George, 63, marched down the aisle, separated her quarreling charges. >From a brief scuffle Wilbur Randall emerged with both his eyes blacked. Afterward he told his mother, a school trustee, that Teacher George had struck him with the bell. Teacher George was haled before the district attorney and the county superintendent of schools. She insisted that Wilbur's wound was accidental, but grimly admitted to having once whipped a second pupil, slapping several others. Refusing to take action against Teacher George, the School Board hastily passed a resolution prohibiting corporal punishment.

In Cincinnati, moppets ran home from the Bond Hill School with excited tales that their friends who whispered during a fourth grade play rehearsal had had their mouths taped shut by Teacher Norma Allen. When parents protested, the school's Acting Principal Marie Dachenbach declared that the whisperers had penitently affixed the tape themselves, at blameless Teacher Allen's suggestion.

In Albany, New York's Commissioner of Education Frank Pierrepont Graves reinstated Teacher Carrie Hynie of Highland Falls. Teacher Hynie, who had been dismissed in February for using a 12-in. ruler on the knuckles of Frances Sanders, 11, appealed to Commissioner Graves, explained: "Frances did not have her geography book. I tapped her very lightly once and her only outcry was 'Ouch.' " Ruled Commissioner Graves: "The use of corporal punishment under the circumstances related is insufficient cause for removal."

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