Parents react to lawsuit that would ban paddling

By Janice Broach - bio | email

INDEPENDENCE, MS (WMC-TV) - The paddling of a 16-year-old Independence High School student prompted a federal lawsuit asking that paddling be outlawed in Mississippi schools.

Corey Blaylock, Independence High School principal, was the one who administered the paddling.

The teen's attorney said the paddling left bruises and inflammation and that a female student was not punished.

Ashley Sullivan contacted Action News 5 about a paddling incident in 2007 involving her son.  She said a security employee held her son's arms while the principle gave him three hits with a paddle.

"I could just picture it," Sullivan said.  "You know, for someone to do that to him."

Sullivan said no action was taken against the principal and admits the signed a form allowing the school to paddle her son.

"I assumed that paddling meant you get three light licks and get a lecture," Sullivan said.

Sullivan is part of a growing group of people who believe paddling in schools should be abolished.

"Why would you paddle a student when you've got in-school suspension?" Nakia Barnett asked.

"Only I need to whip my children," JoAnn Powers said.  "Their dad needs to whip the children."

Corporal punishment is currently legal in 20 states, most of them in the South.  Countries like Canada, Japan, and almost all of Europe have outlawed the practice of paddling.

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