Parents and teachers sound-off on Blue Ribbon Plan

It was supposed to be the Memphis City school district's alternative to corporal punishment.

But at a public forum held Monday night at Booker T.Washington High School, parents and teachers made it clear: the controversial Blue Ribbon Plan just isn't working.

"Some kids just need a whoopin' to do right!" said parent Andrew Holman.

Not everyone agrees with that sentiment.

"We will not go back to beating children," said teacher Cassandra Spearman

Still most in the small audience said they support bringing back corporal punishment as part of an over hauled Blue Ribbon discipline plan.

For the first time, teachers, once afraid to speak out, took to the podium sharing stories of student threats.

"This kid said he would get his gang and they would take care of me," teacher James Walker told board members.

Teacher April Johnson said the plan imposes no consequences on student's bad behavior.

"I was assaulted by a student, student was given a few days, he came back and did it again," Johnson said.

Former White Station High School teacher Paige Blakenship said she is still recovering from a student attack that happened last Spring.

"I had my 5th surgery this morning in five weeks," she said.

Teachers say all of the stories are indisputable evidence of the programs failures. Now, they say it's time for their leaders to come up with a new plan.

School leaders said they will take all of the teachers comments and use them as they reevaluate the Blue Ribbon plan.

It's not clear when, if any changes will be made, but there are more public hearings scheduled in the next several weeks though no dates have been set for those yet.


to email Syan Rhodes.