Enquirer, October 30, 1998

Teacher suspended for spanking
By Sue Kiesewetter

HAMILTON, OHIO -- A Fillmore Elementary School reading teacher is back in the classroom after serving a three-day suspension for spanking a first-grader, a violation of school district policy.

Principal Rex Buchheit disciplined Tom Perkins following an investigation last week.

"He did violate our district policy on corporal punishment," Mr. Buchheit said Thursday. "There was never any anger or malicious intent. It was more of a demonstration. It was not done to cause harm. I feel comfortable having him teach in my building. I have the utmost confidence this will not reoccur."

The first-grade boy, whom school officials would not identify, will not return to the reading center at his mother's request, Mr. Buchheit said.

Allegations that Mr. Perkins might have spanked other children were not substantiated, Mr. Buchheit said. This is Mr. Perkins' first year of teaching in the Hamilton schools.

"The administration and board have taken appropriate disciplinary action and feel confident there will not be a recurrence," assistant superintendent Gene Hutzelman said in a prepared statement.

School officials declined to give any other details related to the incident. Mr. Perkins could not be reached.

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