SCS board of education votes to repeal corporal punishment - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

SCS board of education votes to repeal corporal punishment

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Critics of corporal punishment say research shows it is not an effective form of discipline, and things like detention work better. Critics of corporal punishment say research shows it is not an effective form of discipline, and things like detention work better.

(WMC-TV) - The Shelby County Schools Board of Education voted 13-2 Tuesday night to repeal the corporal punishment policy. This means paddling will no longer be allowed.

Before the vote, Shelby County Schools allowed corporal punishment under certain circumstances while the former Memphis City Schools did not. Administrators wanted a consistent policy for the newly consolidated district.

It was something board members debated during a recent meeting before deciding more data was needed prior to making a final decision.

Critics of corporal punishment say research shows it is not an effective form of discipline, and things like detention work better.

Board member Sara Lewis had a nickname for the paddle she used as a principal.

"I only had to mention 'Mr. Greenjeans' and people would start shaking from the tops of their heads to the bottom of their feet," she said.

But she said her opinion of paddling changed after two sisters came to school, severely beaten by their mother and stepfather.

"And from that day on I vowed that no child, [no matter] what they'd done, deserved corporal punishment," she said

Lewis was among 13 of 15 board members present during the meeting who voted to repeal the existing Shelby County Schools policy that allowed paddling.

Board member and former principal, Joe Clayton recently equated a no paddling policy to sending a soldier into battle without a weapon. Clayton and board member Mike Wissman were the only two who voted to keep paddling in place.

The American Family Practice Association, the American Pediatric Association, and the American Psychological Association all have come out against corporal punishment, according to SCS Commissioner Dr. Jeff Warren.

Other board members, such as SCS Commissioner David Reaves, think eliminating paddling is in the best interest of modern education.

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