Holmes County teacher accused of paddling an excessive number of students

By: Erica Rakow Email
By: Erica Rakow Email

Bonifay-- In 2009, the state legislature gave school districts the option of banning corporal punishment, or paddling. Some, like Okaloosa County, banned the practice immediately. Others haven't. Holmes county is one that hasn't.

"Corporal punishment is allowed in Holmes County as long as they follow the procedures which incorporates: Does a student understand why they're being paddled? Do they have a witness? We have a mandatory cap of 2 licks in Holmes county," said Superintendent of Holmes County Schools, Gary Galloway.

But one Holmes County teacher is now prohibited from giving any licks. That, after being accused of paddling 11 students at Bonifay Middle School last Monday. On Tuesday, he allegedly paddled a 7th grade male student, leaving bruising.

"A mother came in person with her son to document an injury to her child's leg that allegedly occurred while the child was paddled at school," said Bonifay Police Chief, Chris Wells.

Galloway says he only heard from one parent. After investigating the allegation, Galloway decided to revoke the teacher's right to paddle students.

"There was no excessive force used as far as we can determine. We did think the number was somewhat out of line," said Galloway.

Galloway continued to say, "She said she didn't want to pursue it any further. She was satisfied. She did not think the teacher meant to do any harm to her student and certainly didn't want to get anyone in trouble".

"Her words were, she wanted it documented so that there was no allegation made against her for child abuse or for causing the injury," said Chief Wells.

To Galloway’s knowledge, this is the first time this particular teacher has been flagged. The complaint and investigation will become part of the teacher's personnel file.

The U.S. Department of Education says 200,000 school paddling’s occur each year. Florida is one of 20 states that still allows corporal punishment but the number of paddling’s has rapidly decreased.


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  • by Mike Location: Bonifay on Apr 8, 2011 at 12:40 PM
    I went to school in Bonifay back before there was a not middle school and teachers were allowed to control the classroom. The problem today is NO ONE is held accountable for their actions. I received my share of paddlings at school which were followed by a far worse spanking at home. Those usually left stripes on the legs that served as a reminder to not repeat the same behavior. To the amazement of many of you out there I've never been in jail, turned into an axe murderer or any of the other ridiculous ideas that some people have when the discussion of paddling comes up. The prison population is all you need to look at to tell you that it's the younger generation who have come along since we have stopped disciplining children that make up the largest group by a wide margin.
  • by beach guy on Apr 3, 2011 at 04:10 PM
    When I was in school I got my butt beat about 2 times a year. They would call my mom, and give her the choice 3 licks on the butt or 3 days suspension. Mom would never let me get suspended. I think there should be more butt beatings going on, scare the heck out the these kids, and they wont act like most of the spring breakers that are here this weekend.
  • by parent 2 Location: anywhere on Mar 31, 2011 at 04:40 PM
    A teacher has the job to teach. Some students and their parents make this an impossibility. If parents would do their job and teach their child how to behave when away from home then no teacher would ever be put in this situation. The classroom has become a battle royal beween big mouth kids and their parents who let them grow up to be a pain for everyone.
  • by parent Location: dfs on Mar 31, 2011 at 12:31 PM
    Start calling the parents in to school everyday their kid is acting up and when they almost loose their job for having to leave work early constantly to deal with an unruley kid then they will probably change their minds and realize that you must have displine and control in the class rooms. If their kid can't behave then put them in a class with all the other kids that like to disrupt class and see how much they learn but then you will hear the parents whine that their kid aren't leaning anything and can't pass the fcat then they might understand there is a time to cut up and sometimes theres not, but then you won't a teacher that will take the class, nobody would
    • reply
      by Syd on Mar 31, 2011 at 05:55 PM in reply to parent
      You hit the nail on the head. Let the parents make their kid learn to behave before they make others try to teach them.
  • by Jordan Location: Alamo, CA on Mar 31, 2011 at 11:37 AM
    Reminds me of another story: A shoplifter was arrested after having stuffed his pockets with chocolate bars. In court, his defense attorney argued that they tasted so good, he just couldn't stop. The defendant confessed to the judge that he had crossed the line, and promised that henceforth, he would restrict his shoplifting to reasonable, moderate levels -- only one candy bar per day. No more.
  • by swamprat Location: popular springs on Mar 31, 2011 at 07:01 AM
    I recieved a lot of paddling when I was in school, I deserved them all, in the long run it did not hurt me one little bit, but did keep me out of more trouble and did teach me respect. One or two kids cutting up can dsirupt the rest of the class. I think most of the problem is the govt. telling us how to raise our kids, they have little or no discipline at home and they bring this attitude to school. If you do not want to have your child disciplined at school, then teach them manners at home,put them in a private school or home school them. I would not want to teach, or drive a school bus this day and time.
  • by alan fatziger Location: bonifay fl on Mar 30, 2011 at 03:37 PM
    i mean really that poor child i mean i have a teenage daughter at home and she is..... ans yah she has never in her life been paddled so hard or soo angry that it left a mark!!!
  • by from your mom's perspective Location: your anus on Mar 30, 2011 at 03:33 PM
    okay!! so all you parents out there with teenage children you know they r gonna get into trouble it's only natural,so yepp and NO PRINCIPAL SHOULD NEVER EVER!!!... paddle a child soo hard to ware it leaves a huGe welt on his THIGH!! so yah!!!
  • by Anonymous on Mar 30, 2011 at 03:31 PM
    The issue is not did the child deserve to be paddled. The issue is, if the parent sent the child to school with such a mark and a teacher had seen it, the parent would have, by law, been reported to DCFS. The teacher was not reported until last night or this morning. The parent of the child would have been immediately investigated, possible losing her other children until the investigation was over. The teacher gets a post-it. OOHH poor, poor,him.
    • reply
      by Disgusted on Apr 4, 2011 at 03:15 AM in reply to
      Did you read the story? The bruise was on the kid's leg - no one would have seen it unless the kid was pulling his pants down or otherwise showing his leg. And so what if it had been reported? All the parent would have to do when the authorities come is just say "no, he was paddled at school". They would then go verify that with the school, the teacher would say "yes, that student was paddled" and that would be the end of it.
  • by james Location: pc on Mar 30, 2011 at 01:23 PM
    Provided the student in question did something that warranted paddling, I say good for the teacher. Most of these kids are getting completely out of hand because there is a complete absence of discipline in the home and at school.
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