ROBESON COUNTY (WBTW) – Many states have moved away from corporal punishment in schools, but North Carolina law allows teachers and principals to use the reasonable force as discipline.
Robeson County is among a dozen of North Carolina’s 115 school districts that still allows paddling.
While the use of paddling in North Carolina schools has declined by as much as 50 percent in recent years, Robeson County remains the county where it is used the most often.
According to a report from the North Carolina Board of Education 88 of the 147 children physically punished in the North Carolina school system last year were students in the Public Schools of Robeson County.
The report says eighty of those 88 students in Robeson County were American Indian
Robeson County serves roughly a little more than 24,000 students in 42 schools.
Corporal punishment was applied 115 times to boys and 32 times to girls during the 2014-15 school years. The report also shows there were 82 incidents that involved disruptive behavior, 16 for leaving school and 12 for cell phone use.
The use of corporal punishment was highest in grade 1, followed by grades 3, 4, 11, and 10.
“Corporal punishment is always a last resort for punishment in our school district. Even though our schools may have a signed approval form on hand…Many principals still call the parent before this action is taken,” said Robeson County Superintendent Tommy Lowry.
The use of corporal punishment is a local school board policy.
School officials say parents have the option to keep their kids from being punished by filling out a form at the beginning of each school year but there aren’t many parents who do so.