Corporal punishment ended in Columbia County with a whimper, not a bang.
And parents might be surprised to find that they were the last to know.
On Tuesday, the school board voted unanimously -- with member Mike Sleeper absent -- to eliminate the policy that allows students to be paddled.
Not a big deal, says Superintendent Charles Nagle. "Corporal punishment is something that we have not used in Columbia County in years." The policy was wiped off the books as part of a cleanup of unused student codes, Nagle explains.
But do parents remember that policy falling into disuse? Anybody remember a discussion of paddling being abandoned?
Probably not -- beca use no discussion took place. And once the issue came up, trustees didn't just give their customary tentative approval to allow a couple of weeks for feedback. Instead, they quickly axed the policy and moved on.
Paddling hasn't been used in years, they say, which makes the policy moot. But shouldn't parents have had an opportunity to at least know that their schools were taking corporal punishment off the table before it was eliminated by neglect?
Let's face it: Columbia County's school system isn't exactly the most communicative body in our community. In this case, an intimate and obviously controversial form of punishment simply died without parents being any wiser. By the time they learned it was dead, trustees had already patted the dirt on the grave and walked away.
We'd suggest those parents spank the trustees at the next election, but that's two years away. And everyone knows paddling has to be immediate to be effective.
A mild tongue-lashing, then, will have to suffice. Sit in time out, board members.
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