Memo of September 7, 1989 from Mary Weaver to Milton Wilson, both Education Department employees, regarding the challenge of revising the "Corporal Punishment Advisory" so that it no longer forbids exercise as punishment but warns against it.
Here is the first draft of a proposed new Program Advisory on Physical Exercise as Corporal Punishment.

This document represents an attempt to do the impossible: justify an unsound Department position on a highly sensitive issue. In it, I have tried to follow all the vague and contradictory directions that were given. The Advisory provides:

  1. A clarification in response to Jim Smith's question (Weekly notes, 7-18-89), "If there is no pain inflicted, is this punishment appropriate?"

  2. Advice to "Apply common sense. The law has not been tested. At what point do pushups and running laps become corporal punishment is not clear. We urge you to use good judgement."

  3. References to case law--we can't pre-guess, you are at risk, is one too much?

  4. References to advice from the field-- P.E. for punishment is a bad idea. (Several letters referred to.)

  5. Fred's advice: (1) legality is unclear, (2) practice is stupid. Our position should be-- OK, it's not illegal, just stupid.

  6. Mr. Honig's states position, as reported in the Sacramento Bee article on July 12, that the prohibition against using physical exercise as punishment would be rescinded.

This Advisory includes sections on the purpose of the document, legislation, background information, current position of the department, guidelines for the county and district superintendents, and names of contact persons within the department.

Please forward this item to our superior officers for their approval. Let's make sure Mr. Honig sees this one, this time.

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