The OU-Tulsa early childhood students’ service-learning project was recently completed at Mannford Elementary School.


Cohort 6 worked with Mannford Elementary School and Up With Trees to plant trees at the Elementary School and Child Care Center. Most of their  trees were destroyed in the summer fires and the principal identified this project as a school/community need. Mannford second graders made flyers that were distributed throughout the community and the High School 4-H club participated as part of their community service hours.

Deborah Gist, Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary & Secondary Education and OU Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education alum, began her career as an elementary teacher, rising through the ranks until she was named State Superintendent of Education in the District of Columbia in 2007. As the first state superintendent in the District, she transitioned all state-level education functions to the newly formed Office of the State Superintendent of education and put into effect the accountability systems of the federal No Child Left Behind education law.  She was featured in Time Magazine’s 2010 Time 100, a list of 100 people Time sees as “the World’s Most influential People”.  Gist was honored with the Award of Distinction at the 2011 Celebration of Education in Oklahoma where she reminisced about her time at OU and how well prepared she was to enter the classroom. She especially attributes her experiences at the Institute for Child Development as part of the foundation for her success. “The coursework, mentoring, hands on experience, the feedback, the collegiality, everything about it now looking back was incredible.”

Now, Gist is frequently asked to describe her leadership style and responds “elementary leadership”, a phrase she came up with.  The phrase is rooted in her teaching experience in elementary education and also stems from her time at the Institute for Child Development at OU. During her Celebration of Education acceptance speech Gist listed the top 10 things she learned about leadership from the Institute of Child Development:

  1.  No biting. When working with a 2 year old, time must be spent talking about biting. How it’s not nice and that it hurts and as adults we too often tend to bite one another. We need to use words and use them productively to solve problems without hurting each other.
  2. Believe everyone has unique gifts and can succeed. At the Institute for Child Development, teachers spent a lot of time talking about individual students and focused on their capabilities and what they were learning, not what they didn’t know. We need to believe that everyone wants and needs to be successful.
  3. Plan, know the expected result, and get feedback. At the Institute of Child Development they knew everything they were trying to accomplish with the lesson, the unit of study which was carefully thought down from the props to the make believe area to the snack to the story at circle time and the materials for the artwork. But more importantly, the student teachers received feedback all along the way. Our leadership is most effective when we have a clear plan. We need clarity about what it is we set out to accomplish and who will be responsible for what and how we will provide feedback to one another and our team.
  4.  Have fun. Children relish life, they can create a good time out of anything from a bubble to a puddle and it is so important for us to have a good time. Our work is very, very serious, but it doesn’t mean we can’t find joy in our work and in what we do and enjoy one another to accomplish and who will be responsible for what and how we will provide feedback to one another and our team.
  5.  Nurture the whole person. Everyone we work with from our allies to our adversaries has a complicated and whole self with hopes and wants and dreams with special talents and intellectual backgrounds with quirky characteristics and we need to get to know them. Relationships matter and showing that you appreciate your colleagues whole self will go a long way to getting the work done.
  6.  Run. We know that children have boundless energy. As we go through our day we should strive to have that kind of spirit and have a sense of urgency about our work.
  7.  Share. This one speaks for itself.
  8. Take a risk. Go on, give it a try, jump, swing higher, try the star fruit, try on that top hat, that cape, see how it feels. Touch that snake skin, put another block on top, see if it will stay up. As adults we have to be able to continue to put ourselves in experiences that might make us uncomfortable. Only then will we learn, only then will we grow, only then will we truly innovate and accomplish great things. It’s OK to be scared, but we have to jump anyway.
  9.  Celebrate together. We are very busy in our everyday lives but we need to make time to step back, reflect and to celebrate together
  10.  Get back up again. And with that Gist led the audience in singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider, complete with hand motions, a children’s song about dusting yourself off and getting back up again.


“She changed my life. I walked into her classroom insecure and meek, and left feeling ready to change the world.” Madison Wilkinson, OU Student

Teachers have the amazing ability to broaden our worldview, open our eyes, and shape our lives. However, we live in an economy where teachers are forced to do more with less. In fact, after graduation, few teachers have the luxury of returning to a learning environment. With fewer resources and larger classrooms, being a teacher can be a daunting task.

The K20 Center teaches leaders, educators, parents, and students how to succeed through shared learning, leadership development, and technology integration. In addition to providing teacher tools and educator training, the K20 Center also works diligently to develop, implement, and test innovative learning strategies for today’s technologically savvy students. Designed to stimulate and engage all students, regardless of school level, size, context, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, the strategies vary in appearance. One such approach includes the development of a Massive Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG). The education-charged video game teaches students to solve complex problems while developing and applying basic skills and knowledge in math, reading, science and social studies.

The final mandate of the K20 Center is to create connections and collaborations that support learning beyond high school. The K20 Scholars program supports students in their post-secondary experience through graduation. By connecting students back to their Oklahoma schools and communities with service learning projects, both the student and their home school benefit. Through these projects, students serve as role models for younger students and develop critical thinking and leadership skills as they help solve a local problem. Ultimately, the K20 Scholars program seeks to increase the number of college graduates ready to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) related careers and encourages them to remain in Oklahoma.

The K20 Center has emerged as a dynamic leader of innovative education. K20 partner schools report significant increases in high-achieving school practices, show a 70% greater than average increase over the state average increase in the Oklahoma Academic Performance Index, while the K20 Scholars program creates career-ready students. By addressing student needs through innovative collaboration, the K20 Center is re-shaping the face of education in Oklahoma and across the globe.



A life changing event.  That is how many who attend the Oklahoma Writing Project Summer Institute feel about their experience.  While only a short couple of weeks every June, according to Priscilla Griffith, director of the Oklahoma Writing Project, “Some teachers have said they were ready to leave teaching until they attended the summer institute, but instead they leave energized and with a purpose.”  She continued, “I think it is a life-changing event for them because they finally see that there is a professional community that honors and recognizes their practitioner knowledge.”

The Oklahoma Writing Project promotes good writing instruction.  Its organizers firmly believe that writing matters and is a very important part of the curriculum.  “Writing can help a student learn how to connect the dots in their knowledge,” Griffith said.  “Every student serves a good writing teacher.”

OWP promotes good writing instruction through the annual Summer Writing Institute. Teachers are invited to study in-depth writing instruction.  “They reflect on themselves as writers, because in order to teach writing, you have to be a writer yourself,” said Griffith. Teachers prepare demonstration lessons and along with best practices, tie together what research says about writing instruction.  They then present their demonstration lesson to all of the summer institute participants.  The Oklahoma Writing Project is part of the National Writing Project Network, which started in the early 1970s. The first summer institute was held in 1974 on the campus of the University of California at Berkley. Then and now, the goals have remained simple: teachers developing teacher leaders, teachers teaching teachers, writing matters, and students are entitled to a good writing teacher. The University of Oklahoma was one of the earliest sites for the National Writing Project, hosting its first summer institute in 1978. Currently there are more than 200 sites across the nation, resulting in a large professional network of teachers.

Summer Institute in-service are all directed by teachers who have already been through the institute.  According to Griffith, “The summer institute also stresses the importance of school and university collaboration. Following the same model for every writing project across the nation, the institute is directed by university faculty and a highly respected member of the school system.”

In addition to the Summer Institute, OWP annually hosts “Write to Win,” a writing contest followed by a conference, which recognizes student writing from the contest. An anthology is published for elementary, middle school and high school students and one for teachers. A number of teachers bring their students to the conference, and OWP provides an in-service for the teachers, so the conference serves a dual purpose.

Every other year OWP hosts the Amazing Writing Race, which is held at the Oklahoma City Zoo and patterned after the television show “The Amazing Race.” Students move from station to station around the zoo and OWP teacher consultants provide a mini writing lesson at each station on a particular genre of writing. Those mini lessons often become the beginning of what the children submit for the writing contest.

Recently, the Oklahoma Writing Project received two grants to help further good writing instruction.  One of the grants allows 30 hours of professional development to Pioneer Intermediate School in Noble, Okla.  A teacher consultant will be on site for the next year at the school to assist all of the teachers with writing instruction in their own classrooms.

The second grant allows OWP to evaluate the model of professional development through the National Writing Project. The grant provides 40 hours of professional development to Monroe Elementary in Norman and Plaza Towers Elementary in Moore, Okla. Professional development will be embedded in the school and the classrooms through book discussions and lesson study meetings. OWP will do demonstration lessons and help teachers reflect on their teaching. “The grants were extremely competitive so it’s very exciting that the National Writing Project is recognizing what we have been doing in Oklahoma with in-service,” Griffith said.

This past summer, I was given the unique opportunity to go on the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education’s first study abroad trip in Amiens, France. Two other OU education majors and I were in Amiens, which is about an hour Northwest of Paris by train, for five weeks beginning in May 2011. During those five weeks, we were given the opportunity to go on cultural outings around Amiens as well as spend a week each in a lycee (high school), a college (middle school), an ecole primaire (elementary school), and maternelle (the closest equivalent to the latter is a hybrid between pre-k and kindergarten).


There were numerous differences between French and American schools. Schedules were incredibly different, as students start at 8 a.m. and end at 6 p.m., but students have two recesses a day (one in the morning, and one in the afternoon), and two hours for lunch, during which they can go home if they so choose.  Discipline at the schools where I observed was also somewhat different than the discipline I have seen in schools in the U.S.; the approach was more authoritarian, and the teacher/student relationship was more professional than familial.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the French approach to foreign language and cultural education was phenomenally different. Students start instruction in English in CP, the French equivalent of first grade, and are given numerous opportunities to continue the pursuit of this language (as well as many others) as they progress through college and lycee. They can even choose to be a part of such revolutionary programs as the “European Section” or “American Section,” during which their literature and history courses (as well as some others, which include, but are not limited to, physics, chemistry, and algebra) are taught strictly in English. In fact, in these courses, I was asked not to speak any French at all so the students could benefit from interaction with a native English speaker.


Through these experiences and my experience in France as a whole, my entire world view was changed, not to mention my plans for my teaching career and my vision for what education can and should be for my future students.  My eyes were opened to the idea and possibility of a more global approach to education.  From an early age, students can, and should, be taught foreign languages. Language acquisition is at its peak in the early childhood years, and, I realized this time should be used to the fullest extent possible.  It was amazing to me to see what such young students could accomplish, and it became a dream of mine to see American students instructed in foreign languages and other cultures as early and as often as possible.


Overall, my study abroad experience in Amiens was, in a word, life-changing. It improved my language skills, yes, but it changed so much more than that. It changed my vision for my future, the future of education, and the future for our children, who can and should be encouraged to be connected on a global scale.  If not for this remarkable opportunity, I would still be a teacher, and, I hope, a good one, but I would never have developed the clear sense of what education can look like, beyond the wildest dreams of even some of the best teachers I’ve ever had.


When most people think of the OU presence in Tulsa, OU – Tulsa College of Medicine comes to mind, along with all of the wonderful clinics that are run out of the facility.  But most don’t realize that the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education also has a presence at the OU – Tulsa campus that is making a difference in the lives of children from birth to eight in Tulsa County.


The Early Childhood Education Institute (ECEI) began in Tulsa in 2006 with only one employee.  Since then, it has grown to ten-full time employees and fifteen part time employees who are dedicated to early childhood education, research and outreach.  Back in 2006, one of the first projects given to ECEI was the Early Childhood Pilot program, requested by the Oklahoma State Legislature and directed by the State Board of Education.  The program was established to provide infant and toddler programming to at-risk children in rural and urban areas of the state.  ECEI was tasked with, and still evaluates the program and continues to work toward expanding quality infant and toddler services statewide.


Currently, ECEI’s largest project is serving as an evaluator for the Tulsa Educare sites.  At this time there are two Educare sites within Tulsa Public Schools with preparations underway to open a third.  Educare, a national program with sites across the United States, serves children age birth to five from low-income families by preparing them for school.  The Educare sites are commonly located next door to the elementary school the child will attend, making for a smooth transition from one school to the other.  ECEI collects data from the Tulsa sites and evaluates the children’s progress while looking at the quality of the classroom and how it affects the children’s development and learning.  They also study teachers and parents to see how their beliefs and practices affect a child’s success in school.  ECEI then takes their findings and compares them with other Educare sites across the country. “It’s pretty interesting to work across the sites like that and get to know the other evaluators and then get to see the work being used pretty immediately for advocacy purposes,” said Diane Horm, Director of ECEI.  “There are site-to-site differences but generally the kids at all of the sites are progressing.”


ECEI is partnering with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and researchers from other Educare sites across the country for an Educare Randomized Control Trial.  The trial randomly assigns children from birth to age three to Educare and then follows them over time, which Horm described as “the gold standard of scientific studies to prove that your program is effective.” Horm continued, “We will be looking closely to see the impact Educare has on cognitive, language and social-emotional development of children attending Educare versus their peers in other environments.”  They will be able to follow the Educare graduates through their Kindergarten year to see how they are progressing.  ECEI is one of five sites participating in the study.


Half of Educare’s funding comes from early childhood Head Start and the rest from an anchor funder. The anchor funders for Educare are generally well-known philanthropists, Warren Buffett is the anchor funder for the Omaha Educare site, Bill Gates in Seattle and the George Kaiser Family Foundation is the anchor funder for the Tulsa Educare locations. Kaiser’s funding, in turn, allows OU to do the evaluation research for Educare.


Much of what is occurring with the Early Childhood Education Institute at the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education’s Tulsa campus would not be possible without the generous support of the George Kaiser Family Foundation. The partnership between ECEI and the George Kaiser Family Foundation initiated in 2006 and has not only made a significant impact on early childhood education and research in Tulsa, but also the lives of many children as well future teachers. Horm added, “Through endowing my position, GKFF has played a major role in the creation of an institute that can partner with community agencies to do applied research and evaluation to strengthen programs for young children and their families.”


In the late 1990s, the Kaiser Family Foundation helped set up a scholarship for Tulsa Community College students to pursue an associate’s degree in early childhood education. Soon, there were a number of graduates, but there wasn’t an institution around that offered a four-year degree in early childhood education. So, the Kaiser Family Foundation entered into a relationship with OU that developed two new faculty positions at the OU – Tulsa campus to set up and run the second two years as a bachelors completion program so those students could complete their bachelor’s degree.


The loan forgiveness program, only available at the OU – Tulsa campus, was also developed at that time. As the student goes through the second two years of the program, they accrue debt. After graduation, for each year these students work in Oklahoma in any early childhood setting, which is broadly defined as a licensed or approved facility, the Kaiser Foundation will erase their debt by 25%.  Along with the scholarship program through Tulsa Community College and then the loan forgiveness program, a student can get a four year degree and be debt free within four years of graduation, which is nearly unheard of in this day and age.  Through the program the Kaiser Foundation is ensuring that the best and brightest teachers are staying in Oklahoma to prepare infants and toddlers for a lifetime of learning.


Horm added, “The loan forgiveness program enables students who would not have the financial resources to pursue bachelors level early childhood teacher preparation.  So, it’s great for the students.  However, it’s also great for Oklahoma children and families because the payback is teaching in Oklahoma in an early childhood setting for four years.  The genius of the Kaiser loan is that it funds Oklahoma students who then give back to Oklahoma’s young children and families.”

Marilou Hyson: She says all children "are capable of becoming more interested in and engaged in learning."

Marilou Hyson: She says all children “are capable of becoming more interested in and engaged in learning.”

By NOUR HABIB World Scene Writer
Published: 11/12/2012  2:23 AM
Last Modified: 11/12/2012  4:14 AM

Getting your child to become an engaged learner – one who is motivated, persistent and derives pleasure from the act of learning – may seem to some parents like a difficult task.

“Sometimes people think that some children are just born more interested or motivated or curious and some children are just not,” said Marilou Hyson, an early childhood development and education expert who recently conducted a seminar on the topic at OU-Tulsa. “Children may show it in different ways, but we really know that all children, including children who have disabilities or special needs, are capable of becoming more interested in and engaged in learning.

“It’s the experiences that they have and the support that they have in their environment that makes a difference.”

Hyson offered six practical tips, based on research, that parents can use to make their young children more engaged learners.

1. Establish a warm relationship with your child.

“The research says that if children have secure, confident relationships with their parents, they’re more likely to explore and persist when they’re faced with difficult tasks,” she said.

2. Be passionate and enthusiastic about your work and hobbies.

Show your enthusiasm for the things that you enjoy doing, Hyson said, whether that is cooking, traveling, repairing cars or exploring music.

“It’s really important for young children to see their parents as role models and to see their parents trying out new activities,” she said.

Talk out loud about your problems and make sure they see you work to solve them.

“Children need to learn that if you try something and it doesn’t work, maybe there is another way to do it. And if you get a little frustrated, that’s all right, you can deal with the frustration.”

3. Pay attention to your child’s interests.

If your child is captivated by the birds flying in the yard, or loves dinosaurs, or enjoys music, work to develop those interests, Hyson said.

4. Give your child unstructured time.

Hyson said giving your child time that is not structured is a gift that will allow them to explore, play and be creative.

“It’s really hard for children, or adults, to become deeply involved in learning and exploring new challenges if they’re constantly rushing from one experience to another.”

5. Be involved.

“Children need adults to be with them, to partner with them on what the children are doing, whether it’s doing a puzzle or looking at a book together or looking at old family pictures together,” Hyson said.

At the same time, build upon what your children are already doing, extend their thinking and challenge them to try something a little more difficult.

6. Don’t reward your child all the time.

“There’s a lot of research that shows that it is better not to reward children all the time for performing well and learning but to emphasize how satisfying it is to work hard, to master challenges, to learn new things,” Hyson said.

Constantly rewarding a child may actually decrease their motivation to learn, she said.

Original Print Headline: Kids can be engaged learners, with help

Oklahoma legislature’s new method of grading school effectiveness has drawn criticism from OU professors along with other Oklahoma teachers and school superintendents.

OU professors join other Oklahoma teachers and school superintendents in disagreement with the state’s new method of grading school effectiveness.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education released the first school report cards that grade all Oklahoma public schools on an A-F scale on October 25, according to the Norman Transcript.

The grades are based off grade-level performance standards, graduation and dropout rates and attendance rates for elementary schools, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s website.

The purpose of this new grading system is to create accountability and transparency among schools while making the report simple enough for parents to understand, according to the department’s website. It is meant to empower school administrators, parents, classroom teachers and citizens to make informed choices and identify ways to strengthen and improve schools to benefit Oklahoma students.

“It all comes down to how do we keep schools accountable for educating children,” said Teresa DeBacker, associate dean of OU’s Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education and a professor of psychology.

Many teachers, professors and school administrators, however, disagree with this new method, DeBacker said.

There’s a lot of controversy about how to measure school effectiveness, she said. When students come into a classroom with different levels knowledge, different learning rates and different testing skills, it’s unfair to measure the teacher’s ability and judge the school from one test the students take at the end of the year, she said.

“How do you reduce that complexity down to ‘they get a B?’” DeBacker said.

Teachers might be “phenomenally effective,” but if their students are coming in learning English as a second language or if they have intellectual disabilities, their scores are going to drop and the school’s ratings are going to “get slammed,” said Lawrence Baines, chair of OU’s department of instructional leadership and academic curriculum.

“Sometimes I think that the state forgets that schools should be about helping children, not punishing teachers,” Baines said.

Most teachers and professors see this as an extremely complex task, but lawmakers want a method of judging schools that is simple and easy for parents to understand, DeBacker said.

“These report cards are user-friendly, straightforward and fair,” said Janet Barresi, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, in an article in the Norman Transcript. “It is high time for parents to have access to this information as they seek to make the best educational choices for their children. Parents have a basic right to this information, and they should be able to find it easily.”

This simplicity isn’t necessarily better, DeBacker said.

Another issue with this method is that poorly funded schools who can’t afford the same technology, textbooks and teachers as other schools will get bad grades, DeBacker said.

“A lot of this comes down to funding; we’re testing but not investing,” DeBacker said. “Now, we’re publicly printing the report cards—humiliating the schools while withholding what they need to do their jobs.”

Other states have taken to this same method of ranking schools with a report card, and it has been an “expensive disaster everywhere,” Baines said.

“Everyone kows that the poorest schools are struggling and the richest schools are prospering,” Baines said.

In Ohio, zero high-poverty schools are considered “A” quality, while 95 percent of the schools in Ohio’s richest neighborhoods are considered “A” or “B” quality, Baines said.

“Despite the clear connection between poverty and achievement, current policies favor A-rated schools over F-rated schools,” Baines said in an email.


SEATTLE (AP) — Kristine Nannini spent her summer creating wall charts and student data sheets for her fifth grade class — and making $24,000 online by selling those same materials to other teachers.

Teachers like Nannini are making extra money providing materials to their cash-strapped and time-limited colleagues on curriculum sharing sites like, providing an alternative to more traditional — and generally more expensive — school supply stores. Many districts, teachers and parents say these sites are saving teachers time and money, and giving educators a quick way to make extra income.

There is a lot of money to potentially be made. Deanna Jump, a first-grade teacher at Central Fellowship Christian Academy in Macon, Ga., is’s top seller, earning about $1 million in sales over the past two years. She believes the site has been successful because educators are looking for new ways to engage their students, and the materials are relatively inexpensive and move beyond textbooks

‘‘I want kids to be so excited about what they’re learning that they can’t wait to tell mom and dad,’’ she says.

Dozens of Internet forums have been created to help teachers distribute their material and pick up ideas from other educators. is one of the biggest. It was started by a former teacher in New York in 2006 and quickly grew. Others followed, like the run by the American Federation of Teachers, the nation’s second largest teachers union, where free curriculum ideas and materials are offered.

While most characterize these sites as an inexpensive way for teachers to supplement textbook materials, some teachers may get pushback from administrators for their entrepreneurial efforts.

Seattle Public Schools’ recently revised its ethics policy, with the new policy prohibiting teachers from selling anything they developed on district time, said district spokeswoman Teresa Wippel.

‘‘Anything created on their own time could also cross a gray line, depending on the item and how closely tied it is to classroom work,’’ she said. currently has about 300,000 items for sale plus more than 50,000 free items.

All told, more than 1 million teachers have bought or sold items on since it began. Teachers had $5 million in sales during August and September, said site founder Paul Edelman. After paying the site fees, teachers have collectively earned more than $14 million on the site since it was founded.

At all of the websites, the quality varies. Jump said she learned over the years that her colleagues — and their students — are only interested in professional-looking materials that offer the kind of information and instruction they need. Teachers are able to rate items offered for purchase or distribution.

Teachers often spend their own money on classroom supplies, despite receiving a few hundred dollars a year for that purpose from their districts. Increasingly, teachers say, they are going to these curriculum sharing sites to look for materials like the ones Nannini and Jump made available because their funds go further than at traditional school supply stores.

‘‘I guess I’ve created something that everyone really needs,’’ said Nannini, a Grand Blanc, Mich., teacher who just started her fourth year in the classroom.

Jump has made a lot of her money selling science curriculum for the early grades, helping her colleagues teach 7-year-olds about scientific discovery. She has split her earnings between her family, charity and her school, including buying one classroom a smart board.

Stephen Wakefield, spokesman for ASCD, a prominent teacher training organization that has a blog promoting ways for teachers to get help online, said no national organizations approve or rate the multitude of online curricula available to teachers. However many offer lists of places for teachers to explore, he said.

Kathy Smith, a Seattle parent with two daughters in public school, says she knows teachers get materials from a variety of sources and she trusts them to make good decisions about what they choose to share with their students.

‘‘I’ve got a lot of faith in teachers,’’ she said. ‘‘I don’t see any problem using computer sites for supplementation at all.’’

Becky Smith, a special education teacher from rural Alabama, says everything she has gotten off has been free. Smith says the website saves her driving time and cash, because she can buy only what she needs — not a $20 workbook filled with a variety of things.

She also likes the idea of supporting other teachers, not corporations.

‘‘I was on there for hours just looking for things before school started,’’ she said.

© Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Schools in Marion County, Florida could see a return of the paddle if incoming board member Carol Ely has her way.

Ely, who is set to begin her term on the Marion County School Board, says that her experience running Shady Hill Elementary School in Ocala for 14 years made her a believer that this form of discipline is one of the most effective available to schools. is reporting that Ely might have enough pull with fellow board members to make this goal a reality. On previous occasions, Ely said that to be most effective, paddling should only be used sparingly and only on children who repeatedly misbehave. She added that during her tenure at Shady Hill, the number of kids who were paddled more than once was extremely low, indicating that the punishment worked to correct wrong-doing.

She said that there should be strict rules about paddling, which she promises to add to the proposal when she brings it up for a vote in November. School staff would be limited to using it only in extreme circumstances and only with permission from parents.

Linda McLean, a Marion County parent, said that she’d be willing to sign off on in-school corporal punishment.

“I would let them get a spanking and when they get home they would get another one for disrespecting school,” said Linda McClean.

But there are others, like Jarrilyn Taylor, who think that schools that paddle encroach too much on parental prerogative. Taylor said that she doesn’t think anyone should be allowed to hit her child.

Meanwhile in Texas — one of 19 states that allow paddling in schools — one district is considering lifting a restriction on corporal punishment that required that paddling could only be administered by staff members of the same sex as the student. Springtown Superintendent Michael Kelley said that requirement meant that genders weren’t being punished equally since a small district often has a shortage of administrators of one or the other gender.

The new rule would instead require that an administrator of the same gender be present in the room while the paddling was taking place, but wouldn’t have to be the one to administer it. In addition, parents must provide explicit permission for their child to be able to receive corporal punishment.

“We don’t have a very large district and in our middle school there is only an assistant principal, who is a female,” Kelley said. “If the old policy remains in place, then the parents of the boys at the middle school would not be able to request corporal punishment.”

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