Thursday, February 12, 2009

AL: Warren speaks on paddling controversy

By David Lusk
The Weekly Post

Published February 12, 2009

FYFFE—Recent media reports of problems with corporal punishment at Fyffe are misleading, according to DeKalb County Superintendent Charles Warren.

Warren explained that a child attending Fyffe School had violated the cell phone policy after being warned by school officials on more than one occasion.

Principal Ricky Bryant then took possession of the cell phone. Warren believes that Bryant reacted appropriately and within school board policy, and added that, in spite of media focus, the student in question was never paddled or had corporal punishment used on them.

“The fact remains that the child knew of our cell phone policy and chose to violate it,” said Warren.

Although corporal punishment is allowed in Alabama schools, it is not the only disciplinary option. Cell phones and compliance with rules, said Warren, are the real issues.

“In our cell phone policy we make special provision for students with medical conditions or other good and just cause, but they must be pre-approved by the principal,” the superintendent explained.

“Other than that, we see no reason that a child needs a cell phone at school. While cell phones are a convenience, they cause numerous problems. We have had bomb threats called in, we have had test answers texted from student-to-student, we have had pictures taken at inappropriate times causing problems between students. So in our opinion, cell phones are more of a hinderance than a help in public school.”

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