Is Desoto County Board of Education asleep at the wheel?
Peggy Dean's Letter to the Editor of the Desoto Appeal, Submitted April 18, 2006

Dear Editor:

I read with concern and interest the recent articles in the Desoto Appeal regarding the Horne Lake Middle School student who was given a choice between a suspension and corporal punishment for her minor offense. Kudos to Mr. Wright for his opinion piece on this issue. When it comes to the use of corporal punishment in schools, the punishment never fits the crime.

Shame on Desoto County Schools. Didnít we just have children paddled and bruised in this school district? What happened to the committee that this school district promised to form to look into the issue of corporal punishment? Superintendent Kuykendall needs to keep his word and research the dangers of corporal punishment. It is a dangerous and outdated practice, and has no place in our schools. How many more children will be injured in this county before the practice is stopped?

Mississippi leads the nation in the percentage of children struck by educators in our country. Twenty nine states have laws to protect children from this type of assault. Test scores decline, and behavioral problems climb in school districts that embrace the practice of corporal punishment.

It is time for the citizens of Desoto County and the state of Mississippi to demand change. There is never a good reason to have an educated adult pick up a wooden plank and strike a child on the buttocks. We already have evidence to support that when injuries and bruising occur, the Desoto County Board of Education is not concerned.

It is time for public outcry on this issue. Are any of the citizens of Desoto County outraged about this issue?

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

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