Editorial: Should Paddling Still Be Legal In Public And Private Schools In 2016?

PADDLING IN SCHOOLS -- Some schools allow parents to authorize paddling of students in schools.

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PADDLING IN SCHOOLS -- Some schools allow parents to authorize paddling of students in schools.

Hannah Walker, Staff Writer

Corporal punishment in schools have been an issue of discussion for years now. When it first came about, people did not have a problem with this version of punishment. In 2016, it’s a different story.

Parents in 2016 still allow paddling although there is not many counties or states where it is still legal.

“Hamilton County is the only one of Tennessee’s four largest school districts to use corporal punishment,” stated a recent Chattanooga Times Free Press article.

Only 20 states remain in the United States that still have paddling legalized. Some people see it as an archaic form of punishment that our society has supposed to have grown out of by now.

Finley King, Central High’s principal, believes that paddling is a very effective way to discipline students. King always gives parents an option, paddling or suspension.

“I give the parents an option of suspension or paddling. Sometimes suspension is a reward, some students really want to go home and not stay at school. A paddling can reinforce expectations and students are then required to return to their class and perform appropriately. I do not believe that it is appropriate in every case but I do believe that it is acceptable in many incidences,” stated King.

Many parents see paddling as a quick and simple, but effective, punishment. Instead of a student being able to sit at home for two days because of a disruption, they see that if their student is punished in a somewhat embarrassing

Parents often regret their choice after corporal punishment is used. Usually this only occurs in lower grades such as elementary school.

A story of a woman and her kindergarten student in Monticello, Georgia got out after the woman allowed her student to be paddles and then regretted the decision.

“‘He was crying. Holding his hands over his butt, trying to get away. Wanting his mommy,'” explained the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

“I have not had a parent get upset after a corporal punishment consequence. I have been using this form of punishment for many years at Central and have not had any negatives associated with this type of punishment,” related King.

Although it is hard to believe paddling still occurs in 2016, it still happens in some schools. It just so happens to be that paddling is also effective.