Spanking among many issues at charter school, district says
ABC Action News, March 8, 2004

TAMPA - A bay area charter school may be a hit with parents, but the school district says there's too much hitting going on.

The Hillsborough County School District has a long list of complaints against Prince Community Academy, claiming there are financial problems and teachers who aren't certified. But perhaps the most glaring problem at the school, the district says, is that they use an incredible amount of corporal punishment.

Roughly half of the 55 students enrolled in the charter school told ABC Action News they have been paddled this school year. That's more than the number of paddlings at every traditional Hillsborough public school combined.

"No regular school in this system paddles 50 percent of their children. The number of children administered corporal punishment in this district is far under one percent," district spokesman Mark Hart observed.

"We do use corporal punishment. What they may feel is too much is not what Prince Community Academy or the parents feel," countered Stella Prince, the academy's director.

"The corporal punishment is no big deal. You know, back in the days when I was growing up, we all got spankings. A little spanking on the butt is not enough to close down Prince Academy," parent Mary Gray added.

Aside from the paddling concerns, the district says, there are enough problems to pull the school's charter seven months into its first year.

The school's director says the best way to tell if this school is working well is to see if the kids get a year's worth of education in a single year. They want the year to prove what they can do

A performance review committee recommended pulling the school's charter. But parents met with the school board Monday morning and the superintendent agreed to discipline the school without pulling its charter.

Return to this Newsroom date
Select other Newsroom date range
Return to Project NoSpank Table of Contents at