Tuesday, February 17, 2009

ND: Uniform school corporal punishment policy required

NOTE: How's this for backwards thinking? A school district actually had a "corporal punishment" policy that did NOT include "willful infliction of physical pain on a student" and now the STATE SENATE is telling them they CANNOT HAVE A POLICY THAT'S MORE STRICT THAN THE STATE's.

While we understand that legally a school district's policies shouldn't be more restrictive than those of the state, we're talking about willfully inflicting PAIN on a child, and a school district who got in trouble with the State Senate for taking action against a teacher who admitted she deliberately hit a child on the head to get his attention. (If only all districts took this kind of zero tolerance policy against violence from teachers...)

Let me get this straight, if someone deliberately hit you on the head, and it hurt, wouldn't that be willful infliction of pain? But that "willful infliction of pain" clause is missing from district policy so the district is in trouble for disciplining a teacher who whacked a kid in the head?

Is the North Dakota Senate sanctioning Child Abuse in Schools? Curious...

February 16, 2009
Associated Press
Bismarck, N.D. (AP) A West Fargo school teacher's firing has prompted the North Dakota Senate to support changing state law on corporal punishment.

Senators on Monday voted 47-0 to approve a bill that says local schools cannot adopt policies against corporal punishment that are stricter than the state's. The bill now moves to the state House.

The legislation was introduced in response to the November 2006 firing of West Fargo school music teacher Mavis Tjon. She said she was dismissed for tapping a third grader on the head to get his attention.

State law says corporal punishment is the "willful infliction of physical pain on a student." West Fargo school policy does not require any pain to be willfully inflicted.

The Senate bill also says school districts must have the same corporal punishment policies for their elementary, middle and high schools.

The bill is SB2289.

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