a priest's musings on the journey

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Perspectives: New Bill Introduced to Ban Corporal Punishment in NC Schools

Yesterday, a bill was introduced to the North Carolina General Assembly which hopes to ban corporal punishment in North Carolina Schools. The text of the bill may be found there.
North Carolina is one of 21 States which allows corporal punishment by permitting local school boards to decide whether or not a child may be disciplined by spanking. 59% of school boards in North Carolina permit teachers to paddle students with wooden paddles, according to the Center for Effective Discipline. Only 48 school boards have issued their own bans on spanking.
While it is egregious enough that the State allows children to be treated more inhumanely than felons by allowing them to be hit to begin with, the reality is that in most cases it is more than a strike on the buttocks. In many instances the child is violently abused, leaving whelps and bruises on the child. Some parents have pressed charges and filed civil suits against teachers who have injured their children; however, in many cases the teachers are not disciplined. In 2005 a 12 year old boy was paddled so severely by his teacher that his mother had to take him to the ER for treatment. The police took photos and are investigating (still); but, the teacher continues to teach in the school.
Many parents, teachers, and administrators support the new bill and are calling on the General Assembly to make it law. An online petition has been published to gather more support and to give a larger voice to those advocating the end of violence towards our children. More details about the practice of corporal punishment and links to photos of children who have been abused by their teachers may also been found there.
These photos are used with the permission of the parents. However, be warned, these photos are graphic and disturbing.
If you are in NC, please consider signing the petition and writing your representatives to ask them to pass this law. You may find contact information for your Representative here.
:: posted by Padre Rob+, 9:53 AM


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