Burke Co. school board ends corporal punishment with 5-2 vote



BURKE COUNTY, N.C. - The Burke County school district decided Monday night by a 5-2 vote to end corporal punishment.

Burke County was one of only a handful of districts in the state that still allowed children to be paddled. Before Monday night's vote, only 17 out of 117 school districts in North Carolina allow corporal punishment. Those numbers have been declining over the past few years as more and more districts opt to end the practice.

Now, only 16 districts allow the punishment. 

At one time, the county led the state in the number of children paddled, but school leaders have avoided using it recently and may ban it all together.

Not everyone believes the change is a good one.

“No, I don't think it should be taken away.  Not at all,” mother Kimberly Keener said. “Because I think we're getting to where there (are) no consequences for our actions.”

“If a child is being disruptive in a classroom, there needs to be a way they can be corrected and sometimes that's corporal punishment,” mother Pamela Frady said.

Those parents aren't alone. School board member Buddy Armour said he will vote against getting rid of corporal punishment and explained why. 

“I feel like we don't need to be taking options away from our principals and teachers,” Armour said. “I think as long as it is still legal in the state of North Carolina, then we should have the ability to use it.”

John Simmons said he remembers being paddled as a child but thinks there are better alternatives now. 

“If they're are being punished for something, have some educational program to help the kids get back on the right track,” he said.

Mother Nicole Bishop also supports the ban.  

“I believe it belongs home with the parents and not in the school,” she said.