Local News

Paddled Student's Mother Wants Corporal Punishment In Schools Banned

Posted October 10, 2005

— A Robeson County teacher will not face charges for paddling a seventh-grade student after prosecutors concluded the instructor did nothing wrong. The student's mother, as well as others, disagrees.

"When I got home, he was standing on the porch, he had his pants down, and I was like, 'Oh, my God,'" the student's mother, Tina Morgan, said.

Morgan's son, according to officials, was acting up in the hallway at Rowland Middle School when the teacher paddled him.

Morgan has photos of the child's bruises that show his backside purple, blue and black. She also has photos of the paddles with phrases, such as "R U Next?" and "The 'Tude' Adjuster" written on them.

"When you walk [up] and you see a child that's bruised like that, you don't know how to act," Morgan said. "But that day, I was angry."

Robeson County's board of education defends the teacher. School officials told WRAL that corporal punishment is allowed in Robeson County as long as teachers follow certain guidelines. Officials say the teacher in this case did follow them. Prosecutors agreed and did not file charges.

Morgan, however, wants the rules changed. She is not alone.

Peggy Dean, a nurse near Charlotte, is leading the charge to ban corporal punishment in North Carolina schools.

"It is absolutely inexcusable," said Dean, who works with Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education. "If an adult did this to another adult, then the adult would be in jail. If I did this to my dog, then I could be in jail."

Dean said she sees Jones' case as a clear example.

She and Morgan planned to address the Robeson County school board to ask that the school system's corporal punishment policy be changed.

Currently, corporal punishment of any type is banned in 27 states across the nation and legislation banning it is proposed in several others.

In North Carolina, more than half of the state's students are in school districts where the practice is forbidden, including Wake, Durham and Orange county school systems. Thirteen other states, mostly in the South, have no restrictions on corporal punishment.

This past spring, state lawmakers filed a bill to study corporal punishment, but it never made it out of the House of Representatives.


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