A motion to amend Wilson County Schools’ punishment policy failed on Monday evening with a 3-2 vote from the school board.
Current policy number 6.314 states that “any principal, assistant principal or teacher may use corporal punishment in a reasonable manner against any student for good case to maintain discipline and order within public schools.” Guidelines include that disciplinary records must be filed in the school office, made available to parents and that administrators follow a certain protocol.
Corporal punishment must be humane and administered in the presence of another professional employee, not in the presence of the student’s peers, and the nature of the punishment “will be such that is in proportion to the gravity of the offense.”
The policy states that no more than three licks shall be inflicted using an open hand or wooden paddle.
Students also may be given a choice of another disciplinary measure deemed appropriate by the teacher or principal in lieu of corporal punishment.
Wilson County Schools Director Dr. Tim Setterlund recommended that the board amend the policy so that no WCS employee could administer corporal punishment to any student as a means to correct inappropriate behavior.
“I don’t want to put any employee of mine in that position. Many teachers and principals would prefer not to do that,” he said, adding that administering corporal punishment in the school system has resulted in the arrest of teachers and principals for abuse in other states. “We can find better ways to discipline children.”
Board Members Ron Britt and Wayne McNeese voted to amend the current policy. Members Larry Tomlinson, Don Weathers and Bill Robinson rejected the change causing the motion to fail.
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