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Local School Districts Are Split on Paddling

The Alcorn School District allows a maximum of three licks if parental permission is granted.

Alcorn School District Allows Paddling, But Not Corinth 

By Josh Mitchell

Corinth Today News Editor

The two local school districts — Corinth and Alcorn County— are split on whether students can be paddled.

The Corinth School District does not allow paddling as a form of punishment, according to school board attorney Bill Davis.

But the 2018-19 Alcorn School District student handbook allows for paddling if parental permission is granted. Superintendent Larry Mitchell said corporal punishment is rarely used in the district. (Policy below).

A Georgia charter school has made national headlines in recent days for reportedly bringing back paddling as a form of student discipline.

The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes corporal punishment and believes the discipline method may hurt a child’s “self image and school achievement” and may contribute to “disruptive and violent student behavior.”

“The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents, educators, school administrators, school board members, legislators, and others to seek the legal prohibition by all states of corporal punishment in schools and to encourage the use of alternative methods of managing student behavior,” the organization says.

A maximum of three paddle “licks” can be given under the Alcorn School District’s policy.

“Reasonable and proper application will consider age, size, sex, and the gravity of the offense,” the district’s policy adds. “When a certified employee uses corporal punishment, a certified employee of the district will be used as a witness. No coach will paddle at a practice. The student(s) will be taken to the principal the next morning to receive punishment.”

The Alcorn Career and Technology Center makes the paddles, the 2018-19 handbook says.

The 1977 U.S. Supreme Court decision Ingraham v. Wright  found that school corporal punishment is constitutional and left states to decide whether to allow it. Nineteen states currently allow corporal punishment in public schools, according to a report available on the National Institutes of Health website.

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