Local News

Robeson County takes the lead in corporal punishment

Posted February 8, 2013

— The State Board of Education formalized its stance this week against corporal punishment in schools, but won’t make a difference in Robeson County.

Robeson County is among a dozen of the state’s 115 school districts that still allow paddling as form of discipline. And among those dozen, Robeson County takes the lead.

There were 267 student spankings in the district in the last school year. That’s far above second-place Graham County, which reported 43.

Dwayne Smith, chairman of the county's Board of Education policy committee, said the school has no plans to stop the practice. He said corporal punishment works because children who are spanked "very seldom come back."

Robeson County schools have no plans to spare the rod Robeson County schools still spank

“It’s been effective in Robeson County, even back in the days when I went to school,” Smtih said. “It’s almost like, ‘Why fix something if it's not broke?’”

Robeson is a large, mostly poor county with 24,000 students in 42 schools. The district has forms for parents to give their written consent to allow educators to use corporal punishment on their children. Even with the consent form, administrators said, many principals call parents beforehand.

The paddlings seem to be on the decline, with only 46 so far this school year, Still, stories of the principal’s paddle have an almost mythical quality.

“Principal tore me up one time. I’ll never forget it,” recalled Gloria Jacobs, a parent who has children at Tanglewood Elementary School in Lumberton.

Parent Isiah Hunt said he was on board with the idea of corporal punishment, saying it would “straighten out” a lot of kids.

But Kiara Johnson disagreed.

“It’s not their job to hit the kids. It’s their job to teach the kids and leave it up to the parents to do all that,” she said.

The state board approved a resolution Thursday against corporal punishment, saying it can harm students physically, mentally and emotionally. The board did not ask the General Assembly to outlaw the practice, however.


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  • Timetogo Feb 12, 2013

    That's right, it's NOT the responsibility of the teacher/principal to spank. It's the PARENTS and they AREN'T DOING IT!

  • Supie Feb 11, 2013

    I've seen pictures of the bruises left on little children's buttocks by the paddles they use. If "they seldom come back" then why are there 267 paddling incidents each year ? use your common sense. I think this should be a federal issue. Obviously state government isn't able to handle the problem.

  • salliray Feb 11, 2013

    Children do not have respect for teachers any more because they can not correct the child without parents having a fit. Teachers are to teach parents are to raise the childred but if someone at school corrects the child the parents are running to school because it was not their childs fault, but you do no see the parents running to school when the parents need volunteers or help with something at school some parents barely make it to school for progress report but if the child has low grades off the run to school. Wonder why teachers are leaveing the system.

  • beachboater Feb 11, 2013

    “It’s not their job to hit the kids. It’s their job to teach the kids and leave it up to the parents to do all that,” she said."

    That would all well and good, IF the parents would do it. Too many parents use the schools for baby sitting service, and do not do much to dicipline the kids at home.

    I think they are on the right track. It worked way back in the dark ages when I fought off dinosaurs going to and from school, and I believe it would still work today if school administrators would use it.

  • Tug Boat II Feb 8, 2013

    For all of those who are against corporal punishment, needs to spend a few days in a class room. It will change your mind. But of course, if parents were parents their would not be a need for corporal punishment. What's the old saying? "Spare the rod and spoil the child"?

  • Grand Union Feb 8, 2013

    In Scotland it was a leather belt called the "Tawse" that they used....I got belted frequently but it didn't make me do what they wanted.....

    Hard to believe any school still is in those dark ages.

    ""Now a days, when one student acts up in school, the teacher punishes the entire classroom. Totally unfair!!""

    They did that in my day too so its nothing new except they it was everyone line up for a belting! The theory is that it puts peer pressure on the troublemakers.

  • cinnamon16 Feb 8, 2013

    Good behavior should be taught at home thus the teacher wouldn't have to spend half of the day trying to keep the kids on task. If you have never been in a classroom with one or two students that are disruptive and preventing others from learning then you should be quiet. Parents have the kids for the first four years of their life and behavior starts at home.

  • Dnut Feb 8, 2013

    Of course the officials in Robeson County don't mention that their county has one of, if not the, highest rates of violent crime in the state. Makes you wonder how well their system of beating their kids is actually working.
    February 8, 2013 7:34 p.m>>>>>>>But how long have they actually used corporal punishment?

  • Dnut Feb 8, 2013

    "For every child that does not make the grade, the teacher and the Principal of the failing school should receive the Corporal Punishment."

    Maybe next we can do it with parents.
    Plenty Coups
    >>>>>It's not often I agree with you, but you hit the nail on the head!!

  • Dnut Feb 8, 2013

    Once teachers and Principles also are accountable and are subject to Corporal Punishment would be interesting to hear how truly " EFFECTIVE" that form of punishment is.
    Concerned_in Wake_County
    ......Your wrong....the corporal punishment is for disciplinary reasons, not grades, and the last I checked, it takes a caring parent to rasie and help the child focus on education, you can't lay it all on the teachers and principals. We had it in Durham, when I was a kid, and when you got it at school, you got it again at home, PERIOD!! My wife works for the Durham public school system, and she'll tell you most if not all of there problems in her school revolve around discipline problems and parents that absolutely do not care about there children, or as folks in Durham put it, CHILLRINNS!!