Walton County Schools' Corporal Punishment Policy

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Jdarg, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    My mom just gave me a good old fashioned Italian screaming, laying on the guilt thick with her words. Not all that effective, but... everyone has their way.

    The schools, however, have a responsibility to teach acceptable behavior (along with academics) using methods which are effective, respectful, consistent, and reflect advanced practices (not practices from last century).
     
  2. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    I just can't wrap my head around the idea of my teacher paddling me. That would be SO weird.
     
  3. Douglas the Intrepid

    Douglas the Intrepid Beach Fanatic

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    So you only have a problem with a teacher paddling you Scooterbug? ;)
     
  4. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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  5. mdd88jd

    mdd88jd Beach Lover

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    Corporal Punishment Policy

    As most of you know, JDARG and I usually agree on matters regarding our school district. And, I have to say, I am encouraged by the positive comments on this board regarding the district. We are certainly progressing throughout the county, but, with any organization the size of our district, there remains problems and concerns, but, generally, we have a very good system that values kids and prepares them for the future. With that said, our corporal punishment policy is certainly a compromise. We drafted a policy that allow parents a choice. Ultimately, under the policy, the parents decide if corporal punishment at the school is best for their child. As a parent who will have a kidergarten student (insert your joke about my age here!:D), my wife and I have not decided if we will allow it or not. The policy is an attempt to allow the form of punishment for the parents who want it and an opt out for the parents who do not.

    As for the extra curricular activities policy; well, that one is mine. As most of you know, I am a huge supporter of extra curricular activities and believe that sports, art, music, etc., are a big part of a child's education. However, it is extra curricular and participation should be an earned. When you play football at South Walton High School you represent the school, community, your family and friends. You are esteemed and should be held to a higher standard for behavior. If you commit a crime and you are under the supervision of the State of Florida, it is my opinion that you have forfeited that right to represent your school and community. Once the supervision is complete, you should play. But, do you really want a kid who is wearing an ankle bracelet for supervision to travel on a bus with other kids, take the bracelet off and then participate? I hope the policy informs kids that if they behave badly, then, one consequence is that they will have to sit on the sidelines until they have completed their sentence.

    Most coaches, sponsors, embraced the policy and even when it has had to be enforced, we have not always lost the kid. The adults do a pretty good job of making sure the kid understands that is it part of their punishmentand and they can come back, if they behave.

    I know some people think the policy is harsh, but, I really believe it has been successful in encouraging kids to behave. Thanks, guys....
     
  6. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Thank you for the info Mark. I would rather see time off from extra-curricular activities than spanking- the messages sent for the first is about consequences for bad behavior and for the second is just violence.

    It appears that individual schools in the state can opt out of the the corporal punishment policy. If, as it has been stated, the South Walton schools are truly not really using it, then it would be great if we could join the schools in many other districts in Florida and other states and just remove it from the code of conduct. Let's start being at the forefront on all aspects of the educational process, and not be tagging along behind playing catchup. Even what many consider "not a big deal" just chips away at Walton County not being the best we can be.
     
  7. mdd88jd

    mdd88jd Beach Lover

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    Thanks JDARG. I believe individual school districts can opt out. Given the incredible diversity in our county, I thought the individual parent opt out was a decent compromise.
     
  8. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    The existence of such a policy sends the wrong message to kids, families, educators, imo. The fact that physical punishment is an option, inflicted by educators, reflects upon what kind of educational philosophy and practices are embraced by the school district. I personally know of more than one family who refuses public education in Walton County - in large part because of the existence of that policy - it is the principle behind the policy - the idea of it being acceptable to educators in the first place. Having the OPTION to have your kid spanked or not doesn't quite overcome the bad idea of the policy to exist in the first place.

    Regarding the policy of removing privileges such as extracurricular activities - that is not new to most school districts - and I do believe extracurricular activities should be earned. They should be viewed as a privilege for students who follow the rules and do well in school.
     
  9. mdd88jd

    mdd88jd Beach Lover

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    Thanks, I appreciate your opinion. I doubt corporal punishiment would be effective in every school in our district or for every family in our district. I understand you concerns about having the policy in place.
     
  10. Gidget

    Gidget Beach Fanatic

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    I've never understood why it is legal in some schools for an adult to strike a child yet it is illegal for an adult to strike another adult. Striking a child in any way is just not the way to go about incorporating change. Sure, it may get there attention, but there are better ways - always.

    I'm with you 100% jdarg!
     
  11. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    Ya know, I just think that we owe our kids a bit more than just "doing things like they have always been done". Sometimes the old ways are not the best ways, especially when times, cultures, attitudes, families, society, the world, the economy, education (i could go on and on) are all so different than "in the old days".
     
  12. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    So, educators feel that corporal punishment has its place and is still effective in today's schools? is it really effective in some schools but not others?
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  13. mdd88jd

    mdd88jd Beach Lover

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    Believe it or not, there are places in this county where those attitudes about corporal punishment have not changed. I would venture to say that the more north you go in the county, the stronger those feeliings and attitudes are held. It is an incredibly diverse county. That is brought home to me every time I run. What you observe in Rosemary Beach is wholly different that what you observe in Darlington, at least in terms of attitudes about certain issues, i.e., corporal punishment among others. So, to answer your question, when parents support the use of corporal punishment, and use it in their homes, it is effective as both a deterrent and behavior modification technique. At least, that has been my observation and what some educatiors have related to me.
     
  14. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    My biggest surprise about the policy is that in this day of lawyers and constant lawsuits, the school still allows it.

    Is it because the signed permission slip is a waiver?
     
  15. Red Dawg

    Red Dawg Beach Lover

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    Thanks Sunspot, you seem to be the only one on the site that I agree with. Teachers can barely control the chaos now. If you make your children act like humans at home they should be fine at school. But most of the kids I run across, I want to beat the crap out of. Act like idiots, and parents watch and smile at their little darlings. Glad mine are grown.
     
  16. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    you have a point about parents not being parents, more and more these days. but that is not the issue. having teachers spank their children at school is not going to result in any improvement in the parent-child situation.
     
  17. ShallowsNole

    ShallowsNole Beach Fanatic

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    Guys, it is not like you are paddled in front of the class. Back when I took my licks, it was in the office, by the principal, with a witness to make sure that no more force was used than necessary. It stung, and hurt my pride, but I was guilty of the offense. And I moved on and graduated with honors.

    I simply do not see that we are backward in any shape, form or fashion because we have a policy that you can opt out of. And Mark is right...we are a huge county with much cultural diversity, and this does not mean that any one group is better than the other. Trust me, cancelling corporal punishment as an option would be just as horrifying, if not more so, to many parents as allowing it is to the parents on this board who are against it.
     
  18. sunspotbaby

    sunspotbaby SoWal Insider

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    i would thank you SN or give you some rep. but, alas...it is not to be.:lol:

    That was well said.:clap:
     
  19. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    that was an extra good thanks - better than a button!

    and I understand the thinking on all sides. We all have something valuable to contribute - based on our own experiences, our own perspectives.

    I remain unconvinced that this policy is the best we can do for children in this day and age. I would like to see a more up to date disciplinary policy in place - one that will support schools, teachers, children and families. I just think we can do better.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  20. Misty

    Misty Banned

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    Sorry to weigh in on this so late but I am new to the forum.

    I remember an incident several years ago, in which an Asst. Principal in NoWal severely bruised the backside of a small boy in a corporal punishment incident that resulted in the Asst. Principal being removed from his position and transfered to the bus barn. What makes this event noteworthy is that the police later showed up at the grandmothers home (she cared for the boy) and threatened that if she went to authorities the child would be removed from her home and she would be accused of child abuse. Despite being threatened, she did go public, hence the removal of the Asst. Principal. The story along with a picture of the boys backside were also published in the Defuniak Herald and the bruises did in fact cover the boys butt cheeks. Fast foward...that X Asst. Principal is now a member of the City Council for Defuniak Springs. Aww, how quickly we forget.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011

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