Harnett Schools Ban Spanking, Tom Woerner, Editor, Harnett County News September 9, 2008

The Harnett County School Board stopped the long-standing practice of corporal punishment at its regular meeting Monday night.

Nearly twenty-seven years after the brutal and injurious paddling of Shelly Gaspersohn and two other students, the county where it took place has done away with school corporal punishment.

See news report of the ban at http://www.wral.com/news/news_briefs/story/3515231/

For background on the Gaspersohn case:

Superintendent Dan Honeycutt said the corporal punishment policy was being changed because most principals weren't using it anyway.

"Our principals believe they have strategies to deal with students that don't involve corporal punishment," Mr. Honeycutt said. "We don't feel there is a need for this policy and almost all of our principals weren't using it anyway."

Mr. Honeycutt said the previous policy was also too strict be effective. Previously, corporal punishment was used as a secondary way to punish children after other measures were used. The punishment had to be administered in front of another teacher, out of site of students. Parents were notified only after the punishment was administered.

Board Vice Chair Billy Tart agreed that it was time to remove the policy.

"We just thought it was time to change our policy when it comes to corporal punishment," Mr. Tart said.

Locally, Johnston County banned corporal punishment this year. Sampson County has not used the punishment for four years.

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