Cheatham County votes to keep corporal punishment in classrooms

(Photo: WKRN)

CHEATHAM COUTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Cheatham County school board has voted to keep corporal punishment as an option in the classroom.

Cheatham County principals got together and agreed most of them would not enforce the district corporal punishment policy.

So the board was ready to vote to do away with it until parents and members of the community came to them and asking board members to change their mind.

“They seem to think that it’s a good deterrent for bad behavior and for disruptive students we want to provide the best educational experience we possibly can for all the students in Cheatham County and they’re expected to behave, they’re expected to not be disruptive in the classroom,” said board member James Gupton.

“Knowing that it’s out there provides a deterrent a side of fear that it can happen,” Gupton added.

Gupton said some parents have seen their kids generation after generation learn a good lesson from corporal punishment.

“They were actually laughing about it they were talking about their 4th grade teacher, a man they really admire, a man they still communicate to this day with and he paddled every one of them,” said Gupton. “They were laughing and joking about it and they were afraid to go to that next level because most of them didn’t get paddled but once by that 4th grade teacher.”

At the beginning of the year students are sent home with paperwork to opt in or opt out of corporal punishment.

Some say most parents in Cheatham County opt in. And the ones that opt out say it’s because the school knows they can call them and they’ll come to school and take care of it themselves.

On Thursday, Cheatham County Schools released a statement saying, “administrators and principals are trained in positive behavior support methods instead of utilizing corporal punishment. While the district has a policy that allows for corporal punishment, all principals do not plan to use that method of discipline. Instead, the principals will continue to focus on positive behavior methods to address any discipline issues involving students.”

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