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Greenville schools consider paddling, with parents’ approval

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi school district might make paddling an option for students who misbehave.

Greenville Public School District trustees are considering a corporal punishment proposal, the Delta Democrat-Times reports.

Superintendent Janice Page-Johnson said that at the beginning of a school year, parents could sign a form giving permission for a child to be paddled.

“It would have to be renewed every year,” Page-Johnson said. “And, it would be checked before punishment is administered.”

Some trustees, though, have expressed concerns about the proposal. Doris Thompson, Loretta Shannon and Shirley Cartlidge said at a recent board meeting that the proposed policy does not specify where a child could be struck, how many times or how hard.

“There’s just no way you can measure the pressure,” Cartlidge said. “You can’t measure how hard someone is hitting.”

Page-Johnson said other disciplinary measures could be used if a parent does not authorize corporal punishment for a child. She also said paddling would be a last resort.

Mississippi law allows each school district to set a corporal punishment policy.

Greenville trustees decided they needed more input from principals and school administrators across the district before making a decision.

Page-Johnson said she would double check with the principals, but they had already been pretty clear about their stances.

“I have three principals who are for the corporal punishment policy,” she said.

Although board president Jan Vaughn tabled the policy until next meeting, she added, “For the record, I’m not voting for the policy.”

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