Corporal punishment reinstated at Forrest City Schools

MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) – One Mid-South school district will reinstate corporal punishment. The news is just sinking in for parents and students after a vote finalized the decision late Monday night.

"I don't want no whooping," Shakira Williamson said.

Shakira Williamson will be in the 10th grade in Forrest City next school year.  She remembers in the first grade when corporal punishment was in use.

"I got paddled," she said. "I was being bad on the playground. I was throwing dirt."

The Forrest City School Board voted Monday to reinstate corporal punishment in the schools, at the recommendation of school Superintendent Dr. Jerry Woods.

"We looked at the return of corporal punishment as a final option a last resort to enhance our student discipline," Dr. Woods said.

Dr. Woods says Forrest City is the only school district in the area that does not have corporal punishment.

Students in the 12th grade all the way down to kindergarten in Forrest City Schools could receive corporal punishment. It has not yet been decided what device would be used or how many times the students would be hit.

"I think the schools have gotten out of hand," parent Christine Brown said. "Parents don't seem to know how to control their children."

"I think it should be like old school. They ought to enforce the corporal punishment," added Forrest City resident Terry Harris.

"I think it's harsh," said Markie Childers, a parent. "I think it shouldn't be allowed in the school district you know. Corporal…it should be up to the parents."

Parents of students in Forrest City Schools do have the option to let the school district know they don't want the school to use corporal punishment on their child. The policy goes into effect this coming school year.

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