Monday, February 14, 2005

We Can't Believe This Is Still Going On

There are still areas in The United States that paddle students with disabilities. The Charlotte Observer is reporting that Union County North Carolina uses corporal punishment with special education students. Citing data from 1999-2000, The Observer is indicating that Union County employed the paddle more than any other North Carolina school district. According to U.S. Department of Education statistics, corporal punishment was applied to some 85 students in the county.

Students with autism, learning disabilities, speech/hearing impairments, orthopedic problems, and emotional disturbance have been subjected to this policy.

After several months of parent complaints, the Union County School District has agreed to review its policy in the near future. At this time, the State of North Carolina has no guidelines governing its use.

Those against the use of the paddle cite statistics that indicate minorities and special education students are more likely to receive corporal punishment than those that do not have disabilities.

Superintendent Jerry Thomas supports the ending of corporal punishment for students with disabilities, but the governing board is split, with both the board chairman and head of the policy committee backing its continuance.

Talk about a federal lawsuit just begging to be filed.

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