Tennessee mother pushes to ban paddling in schools - WSMV News 4

Tennessee mother pushes to ban paddling in schools

Posted: Updated:
(WSMV file photo) (WSMV file photo)

Most parents know their child's school's dress code, football schedule and lunch menu, but do they know their corporal punishment policy?

Tennessee is one of 19 states that still allow spankings in schools, and the policies are all over the place.

Some say those vague guidelines lead to the wrong children being hit.

Some schools ban paddling, others allow it with parental consent, and some don't notify parents at all.

“It’s beyond time for this to end,” Julie Worley said.

Worley is president of Tennesseans for Nonviolent School Discipline. She has been fighting for years to ban corporal punishment in schools.

“It would be assault with a deadly weapon if you did it in public. It's unacceptable and needs to stop. The only way it will ever stop in Tennessee is if our lawmakers outlaw it,” Worley said.

State Rep. Jason Powell, D-Nashville, has tried.

“Government and our schools should not be in the business of carrying out any type of violence against our children as far as I’m concerned,” Powell said.

Powell introduced a bill last year to ban paddling in schools, but a committee wouldn't even consider it.

He has two big concerns. First, there is no consistent paddling policy.

“There is no training on how hard to hit a child or how many times,” Powell said.

Secondly, the number of students with disabilities who are being paddled.

“Especially a child who has special needs and needs extra attention and needs extra compassion, and I think for them to be the recipient of violence, especially that which is carried out by the school system, is just wrong,” Powell said.

Channel 4 checked data from the Department of Education. The most recent numbers are 2011.

The county with the most school paddling incidents was Coffee County with 365. Thirteen percent of those students were disabled.

In Maury County, there were only nine incidents of paddling, but every single one of them had special needs.

In Humphreys County, nearly half of all students paddled were students with disabilities.

“It seems like the laws should protect our children, but in this case they don't,” Worley said.

2011 Corporal Punishment Numbers (according to the U.S. Department of Education):

Davidson County

  • No reported incidents

Montgomery County

  • No reported incidents

Williamson County

  • No reported incidents

Wilson County

  • No reported incidents

Stewart County

  • No reported incidents

Houston County

  • No reported incidents

Decatur County

  • No reported incidents

Lawrence County

  • 62 corporal punishments
  • 24.2 percent disabled students

Henry County

  • 253 corporal punishments
  • 7.92 percent disabled students

Benton County

  • 14 corporal punishments
  • None disabled

Dickson County

  • 14 corporal punishments
  • 42.9 percent disabled students

Humphreys County

  • 28 corporal punishments
  • 46.4 percent disabled students

Wayne County

  • 45 corporal punishments
  • 40 percent disabled students

Perry County

  • 30 corporal punishments
  • 6.7 percent disabled students

Hickman County

  • 37 corporal punishments
  • 21.6 percent disabled students

Robertson County

  • 35 corporal punishments
  • 11.4 percent disabled students

Cheatham County

  • 8 corporal punishments
  • None disabled

Sumner County

  • 135 corporal punishments
  • 15.6 percent disabled students

Lewis County

  • 72 corporal punishments
  • 8.3 percent disabled students

Maury County

  • 9 corporal punishments
  • 100 percent disabled students

Marshall County

  • 243 corporal punishments
  • 14 percent disabled students

Giles County

  • 203 corporal punishments
  • 5.9 percent disabled students

Rutherford County

  • 7 corporal punishments
  • 28.6 percent disabled students

Bedford County

  • 117 corporal punishments
  • 17.9 percent disabled students

Moore County

  • 30 corporal punishments
  • 23.8 percent disabled students

Overton County

  • 469 corporal punishments
  • 18.1 percent disabled students

Trousdale County

  • 24 corporal punishments
  • 33.3 percent disabled students

Franklin County

  • 106 corporal punishments
  • 15.1 percent disabled students

Coffee County

  • 365 corporal punishments
  • 13.2 percent disabled students

Cannon County

  • 64 corporal punishments
  • 15.6 percent disabled students

Macon County

  • 50 corporal punishments
  • 16 percent disabled students

Smith County

  • 177 corporal punishments
  • 22 percent disabled students

Dekalb County

  • 370 corporal punishments
  • None disabled

Warren County

  • 48 corporal punishments
  • 14.6 percent disabled students

Clay County

  • 53 corporal punishments
  • None disabled

Jackson County

  • 116 corporal punishments
  • 17.2 percent disabled students

Pickett County

  • 53 corporal punishments
  • 18.9 percent disabled students

Putnam County

  • 40 corporal punishments
  • 25 percent disabled students

White County

  • 131 corporal punishments
  • 19.1 percent disabled students

Van Buren County

  • 60 corporal punishments
  • 11.7 percent disabled students

Copyright 2016 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, WSMV; Nashville, TN. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.