County School District Reinstates Corporal Punishment, Sees Positive Results
By Jim Brown, April 25, 2005

One Ohio community is reaping the benefits of overwhelmingly approving paddling as another form of punishment in schools.

Pike County Schools banned paddling back in 1993. However, after receiving strong backing from members of the community, corporal punishment is back in use. Pete Dunn, the principal of Western Elementary School in Latham, says since paddling was reinstated, misbehavior among students has declined substantially.

The principal notes that students are not paddled for misbehavior if their parents do not approve of corporal punishment. But he explains that "well over half" of the parents of the students at his school have agreed that they want that as a form of punishment, and have signed a waiver giving him permission to spank their children if they misbehave. That, Dunn says, has led to fewer problems in the classroom.

"If you don't have corporal punishment -- and [if] your other means of taking away recess and detentions in school aren't working -- then the only other thing you're left with is suspending a kid," the principal observes. "So what sense does it make if you had a kid that, say, skipped school; and then you're going to suspend him and give him three more days out for skipping school? It doesn't make a whole lot of sense."

He explains that was some of the parents' rationale behind reinstatement of paddling. "This is was another means that the community wanted, and it made sense to them," he says.

Dunn, a Christian, says paddling is not only biblical, but also a strong deterrent. The punishment, he points out, can only be administered by the building principal. "No teachers, no one else can do that. It's [always done by] someone who's detached from the situation," he says. "It's never done out of anger. It's always done as a way of correction."

Dunn says he follows the biblical definition of discipline -- "to train a child in the way they should go."


Jim Brown, a regular contributor to AgapePress, is a reporter for American Family Radio News, which can be heard online.

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