Thursday, December 07, 2006

Above the law in Kentucky schools

School paddling brings assault warrant

Last week, however, McGuire obtained an assault warrant against the principal at Central Elementary in Johnson County, one of 50 school districts in Kentucky that still permit corporal punishment.

McGuire concedes he gave the school permission to paddle his son at the beginning of the school year. The boy was punished Nov. 27 after what McGuire termed a wrestling match with another student during recess.

But McGuire says principal Ben Hamilton, 43, went too far and hit too hard.

"He crossed the line," said McGuire, who said bruises on his son's buttocks in the shape of a paddle were still visible yesterday. "You're talking about a straight-A student who's never been in trouble before and, in his first whipping, you tear his backside off."

So 9 days later the bruises are still visible and that is an acceptable paddling in this school? I think I would have a hard time with that one. If a parent was to spank their child in the local Walmart and 9 days later I would wager Social Services would not agree. But apparently some think it is okay:

Principal accused of paddling too harshly

Hamilton referred questions to his lawyer, Ned Pillersdorf, who said he has filed a motion to dismiss the warrant because Hamilton is immune from prosecution under state law. Principals have the right to use necessary force to promote discipline, Pillersdorf said yesterday.

Teacher Beth Lemaster, who witnessed the paddling, said in a court affidavit that it "was not excessive, hurtful and was routine in nature, and was designed to instill discipline in the child."

Perhaps the good teacher should define for the class "excessive". Bruises were left 9 days later and it was not excessive. What kind of paddling is she used to seeing doled out to the kids at that school anyway?

I'm a little curious myself about the "immune from prosecution" thing. How immune are we talking here can he break bones while paddling?

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