Guest Blog – I-SS axes corporal punishment policy

I-SS axes corporal punishment policy
By Chyna Broadnax
Record & Landmark, Statesville, North Carolina, February 15, 2011

The Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education decided to wipe the district’s corporal punishment policy from the books during its monthly meeting Monday.The board moved to strike down the policy in response to the North Carolina General Assembly’s recent ruling that districts with corporal punishment guidelines on their books can use them on students with disabilities if parents grant permission. That ruling would have forced I-SS to distribute some 2,500 letters to parents informing them of the policy and offering them an opportunity to either waive or accept it to be used on their children.I-SS already had a directive in place against the use of corporal punishment.

Quickly after Deputy Superintendent of Operations Ron Hargrave introduced the agenda item during the meeting, board member Anna Bonham made her vote clear.

“I would like to make a motion to strike this policy,” she said.

Board member Bryan Shoemaker suggested that instead of getting rid of the policy entirely, the board make four revisions and an amendment to it that would not permit corporal punishment on on students with disabilities, but would still allow the policy to exist.

In a prepared statement Shoemaker said the use of corporal punishment shows that “in life there are consequences.” In the end, however, the board voted 5-2 in favor of getting rid of the policy, with John B. Rogers Jr. joining Shoemaker in opposition.

Superintendent Brady Johnson said the days of corporal punishment in public schools are over.

Superintendent Brady Johnson said the days of corporal punishment in public schools are over. “We are in a very different community with a different set of standards,” he said. Johnson said he has not been able to find research that supports the idea that corporal punishment deters negative behavior in schools.

“This is a tool the vast majority of principals do not feel comfortable using,” Johnson said in referring to an I-SS survey in which all but two principals said they wouldn’t consider using corporal punishment in their schools.