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NC school districts cut paddling cases in half

Associated Press
Published: Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 4:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 4:53 p.m.
The number of children being paddled in North Carolina public schools is falling fast as fewer districts use physical pain to enforce discipline, a report released Thursday said.

Some State Board of Education members want the Legislature to stop the dozen or so of the state's 115 districts that still practice corporal punishment. The state board will decide next month whether to ask for a statewide ban on a practice that fell by 55 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.

"It's my personal opinion that corporal punishment, physical punishment, does not belong in our schools," said board member John Tate III of Charlotte.

School workers can use force to restrain students or intervene in a dangerous situation, but allowing adult authorities to hurt a child isn't an effective discipline tool, Tate said.

A handful of states allow corporal punishment, but its use is falling fast in North Carolina. Local school boards can decide whether to permit paddling.

The number of cases of corporal punishment fell to 404 statewide during the school year that ended in May, down from 891 cases in the 2010-2011 academic year. That was the first time all uses of corporal punishment were required to be reported. Before recording all schoolhouse paddling was required, 1,160 cases of corporal punishment were reported statewide during the 2009-10 academic year.

The new figures show that two out of every three times paddling was used in North Carolina schools, it happened in Robeson County. The school district retained its statewide leadership in use of corporal punishment with 267 cases, down from 296 the previous year.

Only a dozen of the state's 115 school districts had employees swatting students, and only nine districts did it more than once.

Columbus County schools, No. 3 on the 2011-12 statewide tally with 36 cases, suspended paddling last spring within days of seeing the district ranked second statewide with 193 cases the previous year. Burke County schools did away with corporal punishment in May after recording one paddling during the completed academic year. Supporters of the practice warned that doing away with corporal punishment will lead students to believe there are no consequences for misdeeds, and that principals and teachers should retain the option of using force.

State law defines corporal punishment as intentionally inflicting physical pain to discipline a student. A law that took effect last year allowed a parent or guardian who objected to paddling to block administrators in districts that employ corporal punishment from administering it on their child. That opt-out option was available in the 2010-11 school year for the parents of disabled students.
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by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 2:23 AM
Replies (21-25):
by on Jan. 12, 2013 at 5:49 PM

The state of NC should work toward zero cases of corporal punishment.

by on Jan. 12, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Quoting SabrinaLC:

I didn't even know that was still allowed :-/

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by on Jan. 13, 2013 at 7:21 PM
I'm glad your school system is so different I am stuck on this mountain w money hungry teachers and school board staff that does absolutely nothing but terrorize the parents and act like a total biligerent immature pre teen toward our children they refuse to allow us to have a PTA or anything the parents have a say so in! The elected school board won't even return a email much less a phone call!

Wish I knew how to change things here so our kids could have a more stress free higher education

Quoting AleaKat:

At the risk of sounding incredibly naive I don't think our school is like that.

I've had nothing but positive experiences with them and there has never been a communication issue.

They send home permission forms for almost every activity that they do plus ones asking for chaperones.

I've already chaperoned a trip this year.

I'm sorry your school is so horrible .

Quoting Bluetick:

Lol keep dreaming! In my county Alleghany they took my child on a field trip I had no knowledge of.... I went to pick her up for a dental appt and she wasn't there! They had no idea where she or her class was!! 2 hours go by and finally they find her class ! I was livid !! However the school board took it upon themselves to make the rule that as long as the student never leaves the county that the parents DO NOT have to be notified! Nor do they want to tell parents the day they might take your kid with out your knowledge!

I called a lawyer in Charlotte that specializes in this type of case and he said legal action could not be taken as long as I signed the beginning of the year papers enrolling her for the new school year !! Even though none of the above predicament was listed in any of it! There is a huge rule book with your schools superintendents office and you actually have to go there to see the REAL RULES of what they can do to your kid!

Quoting AleaKat:

Isn't that something they have to tell you. I mean I've had several meetings and such with the principal this can't be something they omit! Right?

Quoting Bluetick:

YOU MUST SUBMIT TO THE SCHOOL IN WRITING you do not want your child to have corporal punishment

Quoting AleaKat:

I was paddled as a kid in school but I didn't realize they still did it. I live in NC somebody paddles my kid and there will be hell to pay.
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by on Jan. 13, 2013 at 10:57 PM
I didnt think schools could do that
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by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 5:26 PM
It's amazing isn't it
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