Corporal punishment abandoned Corporal punishment abandoned
By Katherine Bieker, Times Correspondent (Indiana), September 9, 2004

MERRILLVILLE -- The time for corporal punishment in the Merrillville Community School Corp. has come and gone.

The Merrillville School Board on Tuesday unanimously voted to rescind its corporal punishment policy, which allowed teachers to use physical means to enforce discipline or modify student behavior.

The policy, which was last updated in July 1982, called for corporal punishment to be used only when other reasonable disciplinary alternatives failed. Teachers had to have a witness, parents had to be notified and a report was submitted to the building principal.

Merrillville Superintendent Tony Lux said the corporal punishment policy conflicted with efforts by the board to create a kinder, gentler school zone. Last month, the board unanimously adopted a civility policy aimed at curbing profanity, bullying and harassment on school property.

The civility policy states the school corporation won't tolerate hostile actions, abusive language, obscenities, verbal harassment or bullying from children or adults.

Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken for student violations, according to the school handbook. Adult violators can be restricted from school property for a specific period of time.

"Corporal punishment has seen its time. I don't think schools are using it much - I know we haven't used corporal punishment for several years now. This administration feels there are other forms of behavior modification that are more effective than corporal punishment," Lux said.

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