Dr. Robert Fathman's letter to The Savannah Morning News of December 15, 1998


How sad that the county School Superintendent, Jim Paul Poole, states that there was nothing wrong with a principal hitting a student with a board so hard that a bruise 10 inches by 6 inches was inflicted on the boy's buttocks! [12/15/98] The Board of Education should overrule the superintendent on this, and discipline the discipliner. More importantly, the Board should protect the children in this school system by voting to prohibit corporal punishment, allowing physical force to be used only for the protection of persons or property.

More than half the children in Georgia now attend schools where more humane disciplinary techniques are used. Legislators in 27 states have banned paddling and other forms of physical punishment, and school boards in 12 of the remaining states have banned in sufficient numbers that more than half the children can go to school in the morning without fear of being struck by teachers. School corporal punishment is opposed by the American Medical and Bar Associations, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, The National PTA, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the NAACP, and the American Association of State Boards of Education. It is no longer used in any country in Europe, and has been banned in all countries of Central and South American, China and Japan.

Teachers in districts all over the country have moved forward, away from this outmoded and often injurious practice. Surely the teachers, and administrators, in Savannah area schools are just as capable of educating children without hitting them. It is time for the Board to act. Good school discipline should be instilled through the mind, not the behind.

Robert E. Fathman, Ph.D., President
National Coalition to Abolish Corporal Punishment in Schools
5805 Tarton Circle N.
Dublin, OH 43017 0ffice: 614/766-6688, Home: 614/798-0031
See our Web site: http://www.stophitting.com

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