Corporal punishment remains legal in Tennessee but Cheatham County School principals have essentially eliminated it as a means of discipline rendering cause for board members to discuss whether to keep the policy.
Parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of school age children attending Cheatham County Schools are given a registration form at the beginning of each new school year to be returned and kept on file at the school the student attends. The registration form has a specific section provided to check a statement specifying whether or not parental or legal guardian(s) consent for discipling with corporal punishment It also requires a written signature from parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
TSBA (Tennessee State Board Association) policy doesn’t mandate principals to discipline by corporal punishment but rather gives discretion to principals whether or not to incorporate the disciplinary measure. In a recent meeting district principals stated they were hesitant to use corporal punishment due to the potential liability risks and have found other means of discipline to be more effective.
District K-12 Supervisor Stacey Brinkley informed board members, during Cheatham County School Board September Workshop, there had only been eight students out of approximately 6400 across the district disciplined by means of corporal punishment, thereby paddling, during the previous 2015-2016 school year.
Following the workshop, during the September board meeting, David Bibee, member of the board, asked what would happened if corporal punishment became a popular form of discipline again and what harm it would cause to keep it in policy in the event the paddle needed to be, “pulled out and dusted off”?
Gupton followed Bibee’s lead, stating he’d asked people’s thoughts and opinions on Facebook about corporal punishment. The question resulted in a vast number of responses in favor of corporal punishment, with many asking why it wasn’t implemented more within the school district.
School board Chairman Kimberly Messer wasn’t in favor of the discipline measure stating it was ineffective, causing children to be negatively impacted, resulting in behaving due to fear rather than choosing not
to misbehave. Continuing her argument she stated if parents wanted their child disciplined by means of paddling, then they could be called to the school to administer the punishment themselves, instead of asking the principal to do something they weren’t comfortable with or found to be ineffective. Messer did not see any reason to keep corporal punishment in policy if it wasn’t going to be used.
Cheatham County School Board Chairman Kimberly Messer along with board members Jennifer Hamlin voted to eliminate corporal punishment from district policy but were out numbered in votes by board members David Bibee, James Gupton, Vice Chairman John Louallen and David Risner.
A vote of 4-2 kept corporal punishment in Cheatham County School district policy.
“Less Than 20 States Still Legalize Corporal Punishment In School”.Interested in learning more about corporal punishment and Cheatham County School District policy guidelines for disciplines measure you can visit http://www.cheathamcountyschools.net.
I-24 Exchange Newspaper, locally distributed throughout the northern cluster of Cheatham County to it’s residents each week, published a version of this article by the same author. You can visit www.exchangehotspot.com to find this article and more.