Mayor's corporal punishment proposal stirs debate - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Mayor's corporal punishment proposal stirs debate

"Please believe me, we need to restore corporal punishment."

With those words during a speech Tuesday afternoon, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton' words brought the controversial topic of corporal punishment back to the public's attention.

"The kids are running wild and they need some kind of structure," parent Keith Hollins said in reaction to Herenton's speech.

Deborah Clubb, Executive Director of the Memphis Area Women's Council, helped end corporal punishment in Memphis City Schools.

"Our children are shown how to be violent at home," she said. "That they're going to come to school and show that you get hit here if you don't do the immediate thing you were said to do, it just seems to be crazy thinking."

In 2004, the School Board banned paddling after a Hamilton High coach severely paddled basketball players for missing shots.

Some parents argue the paddle is the best way to stop the violence.  In fact, all of our bordering states allow corporal punishment.

In Arkansas, 20 school systems use it, while 26 do in Mississippi, and 22 in Tennessee.

Even Shelby County schools allow it.

"For the parents who don't want corporal punishment, they should have a choice whether they want it or not," parent Debra Wilson said. "But, for the parents who want it, have it."

"We have got to, instead, teach our children from very, very young how to respect each other, how to respect themselves and then how to have respect within all their relationships," Clubb said.

To many, it seems the battle over the paddle is never ending.

Links to corporal punishment policies at area schools:

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