Corporal Punishment in North Carolina Schools: Three Perspectives

Peggy Dean's letter to makers of school policy

January 31, 2008

Dear Educational Leaders:

On December 13, 2007, Joey Disbrow was beaten black and blue by a teacher, Tony Davis, who followed North Carolina law and McDowell County Board of Education policy to the letter, according to the feedback from all involved.

He used two wooden boards, bound together with black electrical tape, to hit and injure this child. Social services is unable to investigate, and the local district attorney failed to file charges. The injuries are well documented by police and medical reports, and high quality photographs. The local board of education refuses to hold this teacher accountable, and denies the need to change its policy.

I turned to my educational leaders on a state level. I was told to place my concerns in writing, and I did. My phone calls and emails to the staff attorney go unanswered. I have written and called on numerous occasions to confirm that my documentation is sufficient to proceed with an investigation. The only advice that Ms. Cornetto gave me, and she was clear in communicating to me that she was "putting on her Katie hat, not the staff attorney hat," was to get this out on the news, and even suggested that a video be made and put on You Tube.

Is there any other means of solving this issue of child abuse, or better advice that anyone in your State Board of Education office can share with me? I am a mandated reporter of child abuse, and to date, I do not know of a regulatory agency that responds to You Tube video.

For your information, ABC news coverage of events at the McDowell County Board of Education surfaced nationally one day after the board meeting. The Associated Press picked up the story, and it was on the home page of Yahoo, nation wide. As a result, a widely viewed TV show producer has taken an interest. It seems that North Carolina is quickly gaining a reputation as a state that deals with this most serious educational failure by allowing it to become grist for the media. Do victims of sanctioned child abuse by educators have no other recourse than the evening news or You Tube?


Peggy Dean, RN,
Member of the Board of Directors of Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education

Rep. Cary Allred's letter to Peggy Dean

February 1, 2008

Dear Peggy,

Thank you for writing and expressing to me your concerns regarding corporal punishment. There are currently laws in place to regulate corporal punishment, and if the teacher has violated these laws, he or she will be guilty of a crime.

The school board of the Alamance-Burlington School System which I represent, has banned corporal punishment. McDowell County's school board can also ban corporal punishment if they so choose. I recommend contacting the McDowell County school board in light of this event.

Again, thank you for your email.


Rep. Cary Allred
NC House of Representatives
64th District
300 N. Salisbury Street
Room 606 LOB
Raleigh, NC 27603-5925


A page from nine-year-old Allie* Majni's daily journal

*Allie and her family are neighbors of Peggy Dean.


Return to:
North Carolina Shame
Advocacy and protest
Violence toward children in the classroom
Front Page