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Morgan Co. Schools discuss corporal punishment policy

12:52 AM, Feb 13, 2013   |    comments
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Parents and teachers in one East Tennessee community met Monday night to discuss the future of corporal punishment in their schools.

The former principal of Sunbright Elementary in Morgan County, Dr. Elizabeth Boyd, was suspended in August after a parent filed a complaint she used severe corporal punishment on her son.

Morgan County Schools wanted to talk to parents following that incident to see whether the district should alter its corporal punishment policy. Currently, it allows for students to be paddled in schools, if their parents give administrators consent.

At Monday's meeting, some principals said paddling was an effective alternative to suspending students. However, others were worried principals and teachers could be held liable, or sued, if a parent does not agree with their judgement.

Director of Schools Dr. Edd Diden said the district will hold more meetings on the matter in the coming months. He said the school board hopes to have a decision on whether to change its policy by the end of the school year.

He told 10News the district has already sent a survey out to parents to gauge their opinions on the issue.

"We just asked the community sentiment about whether it should continue to be a part of what we do or not, and out of a couple of hundred responses, about 65 to 70 percent were in favor of continuing the policy in some form," he said.

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