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UPDATED: Columbus Co. ranks #5 in state for spanking at school

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Dr. Dan Strickland, Superintendent of Columbus County Schools - called our newsroom this afternoon with an update on this story.

He emphasized that any parent can opt out of having their child paddled by writing a letter and having it on file with the school system. Also, if a student is paddled, he said the teacher - and either the principal or a witness - is on-hand while it's being administered.

He also said the school system has other types of intervention for misbehavior - and that paddling is only a last resort. He says principals also practice what's called Positive Behavior Support, which rewards students for good behavior.

And he told us that CCS have one of the lowest drop-out rates in SE North Carolina. Columbus County Schools has 6,800 students total - approximately 5,000 are in the elementary program.

Scott Pickey
News Director

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FROM THE SUN NEWS, MYRTLE BEACH - http://www.thesunnews.com/2010/03/11/1361895/report-details-school-spank...

ASH, N.C. -- Students in Columbus County, N.C., schools are nearly as likely to be hit by school personnel as any in North Carolina, according to a report from Action for Children North Carolina.

The school system is one of 26 in the state that uses corporal punishment as a way to control student behavior and ranked fifth highest among them in the number of times it was used in the 2008-09 school year, the report said.

School systems in Horry County and Brunswick County, N.C., which border Columbus to the south and east, respectively, have banned corporal punishment. Georgetown County schools allow corporal punishment, but only with advance parental permission, which Columbus County does not require.

"It's rarely if ever used," said Georgetown school board Chairman Jim Dumm.

Corporal punishment was used in Columbus County schools 87 times last school year, the report said. Burke County schools in western North Carolina topped the Action for Children list, using corporal punishment 325 times. McDowell County ranked fourth, just above Columbus, with 93 instances of corporal punishment in the school year. Macon County, with 70 instances of corporal punishment, ranked sixth.

Columbus schools Superintendent Dan Strickland, board Chairman Monte Herring and Vice Chairman Junior Dew did not return calls seeking comment. Board member Norris Ebron declined to talk about the policy or whether he thought it was a good one.

"When it's a policy we have," Ebron said, "we need to follow the policy."

He said he is not inclined to change it unless parents tell him they want it changed. He said no parents have complained to him about the policy.

While prior parental approval is not required for Columbus schools staff to paddle students, the policy says that other ways of controlling behavior should be tried first. School principals, assistant principals, teachers and substitute teachers may use corporal punishment on students, and parents must be notified afterward, according to a copy of the school system's policies online. The person who administered the corporal punishment must submit a written explanation of why, if parents request it.

Randy Dozier, superintendent of Georgetown County schools, said only two of the district's elementary schools use corporal punishment. He agreed with Dumm that its use is very rare, if at all.

"They have other alternatives," he said.

Horry County schools outlawed corporal punishment in 2004, said Teal Britton, school district spokeswoman.

"I don't think there was a lot of spanking going on before that," she said.

Les Tubb, interim superintendent of Brunswick County schools, said he can't recall exactly when corporal punishment was banned, but he believes it was in the mid 1990s. He said he spanked a student once, 25 years ago when he was a teacher in Cumberland County schools. It made him feel so bad that he decided not to do it again, even if it was allowed.

Brunswick County schools now focus on rewarding students for good behavior, Tubb said. For those who stray, there are controls such as moving a misbehaving student to a different classroom, one-period suspensions, full-day in-school suspensions, out-of-school suspensions, parent conferences and having parents come to take their children home from school.

He said corporal punishment can actually reinforce bad behavior such as fighting.

"I believe our positive behavior support system is the way to go," Tubb said.

Shirley Babson, a Brunswick County school board member, said corporal punishment can have other potentially negative aspects besides reinforcing bad behavior.

"It's probably because it can get excessive that it's not allowed," she said. "In this day and time, I don't think parents would allow it either."

Dumm, the director of Tara Hall Boys Home, where corporal punishment was banned 10 years ago, said he knows there are times that non-parents in charge of children wish they could spank them.

"Sometimes," he said, "it's good to have something you can hang over their heads."

Contact STEVE JONES at 910-754-9855.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Child buttock-battering vs. DISCIPLINE:

People used to think it was necessary to "spank" adult members of the community, military trainees, and prisoners. In some countries they still do. In our country, it is considered sexual battery if a person over the age of 18 is "spanked", but only if over the age of 18.

For one thing, because the buttocks are so close to the genitals and so multiply linked to sexual nerve centers, striking them can trigger powerful and involuntary sexual stimulus in some people. There are numerous physiological ways in which it can be sexually abusive, but I won't list them all here. One can use the resources I've posted if they want to learn more.

Child buttock-battering vs. DISCIPLINE:

Child buttock-battering (euphemistically labeled "spanking","swatting","switching","smacking", "paddling",or other cute-sounding names) for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

I think the reason why television shows like "Supernanny" and "Dr. Phil" are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.

There are several reasons why child bottom-slapping isn't a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

Plain Talk About Spanking
by Jordan Riak,

The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
by Tom Johnson,

NO VITAL ORGANS THERE, So They Say
by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

Most compelling of all reasons to abandon this worst of all bad habits is the fact that buttock-battering can be unintentional sexual abuse for some children. There is an abundance of educational resources, testimony, documentation, etc available on the subject that can easily be found by doing a little research with the recommended reads-visit the website of Parents and Teachers Against Violence In Education at www.nospank.net.

Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child bottom-slapping isn't a good idea:

American Academy of Pediatrics,
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
American Psychological Association,
Center For Effective Discipline,
Churches' Network For Non-Violence,
Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
Parenting In Jesus' Footsteps,
Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In 26 countries, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Less than 1% of the people

Less than 1% of the people in the U.S. would have tought of that.. and prolly 95% of those are a perv with a belt... Which one are you?
Its people like YOU how are scared to spank their child that are raising children with no disclipine, and I can assure you that when I spanked my children at a younger age, it hurt, they listened, they are honor role students involved in church, and respectful of all adults while still being independent..
If I could sign a form for my child to be popped in school if they were completely unrulet, i would be the first in line..
Oh... I was spankedm as well and I assure you I felt nothing sexual.. I felt pain and learned not to screw up..
Your comments, PDeverit, as replicated as they are,, .. make YOU sound like the one trying to get arroused by children... Not the parent's who don't mind still acting like parents.. Sicko...

Columbus is rank #5 in

Columbus is rank #5 in spanking, and has one of the lowest drop out rates in the State 2.83%! Maybe they should be a model for all NC School systems!

I think a little pain will

I think a little pain will go a long way. It would give back the respect the teacher's deserve to put with the attitudes this kid's have.

I don't feel that school

I don't feel that school staff should do something to a child that would get them arrested for assault if it were done on an adult. They should have the right to expell any student who misbehaves and let the parents do their job.

YEAH!

Bring it back to NHC...and when it's re-instituted...give EVERY student THREE THWACKS on the behind..simply because they all probably deserve it!

As a former teacher,

As a former teacher, discipline is what is needed. They can blow all the feel-good money they want to waste, but good use of the paddle will help more than anything else.

AMEN!!!!!

AMEN!!!!!

I believe in corporal

I believe in corporal punishment, I have lived in Columbus County all my life and I have 2 boys in school now and 1 boy that has graduated. I feel they should leave the corporal punishment in schools because it helps. I work in the school system and I am here to tell you that if some parents dont believe in the schools giving corporal punishment then these parents need to come and set in the school and observe some of the behaviours that are going on with these kids, from assaulting and trying to fight teachers, to just totally distrubting class, and if you really want to know how bad some of the behaviours are then just go to court and sit in on juvenile court sometimes and listen to the charges that are brought by the SRO's and you will look at corporal punishment differently. Granted some students dont fall within these guidelines, we have alot of great students, but it is because we have parents at home that have taught them that you respect people, and when asked to do something by a teacher or and adult you answer with yes mam or no mam, but some parents dont care about there kids actions and therefore that is the ones that end up in our court systems or have so many days out of school that they fail there grade, I dont know about you but I would rather my kid get a paddling and go back to class than to miss days in school and fall behind and fail there grade. What it all comes down to is if you dont want your child to have corporal punishment then sign the paper at the beginning of the school year and sent it back where your child will not recieve the paddling, because some parents want to keep the corporal punishment in the schools.