Shelby County School board members voted 13-2 to end corporal punishment in their unified school system, less than week before the new school year starts.
The vote came on registration day for the new merged school district. There where a lot of congratulations and applause going around the board room for a job well done for board members and Interim Superintendent Dorsey Hopson.
"There are ways that we can do that without beating children and beating the most vulnerable of these children over and over again and expecting a different result," said SCS board member Sara L. Lewis.
"This is just the day and age we live in," added SCS board member David Reaves. "Corporal punishment is a difficult one to get our hands around because personally we can do it at home because a lot of us do it. But you go into public space and you do it to another child and now you can easily wind up in court."
There were lot of questions on whether the board would have things ready for the start of school, and for the most part they did.
Payroll checks have started going out, substitute teachers will start receiving mail in the next few days, and most of the policies are in place.
The board was even invited to hop on a bus together Monday morning Aug. 5 to go around to the schools to check out how the first day is going.
But there was still work to be done at Tuesday's board meeting. One big item on the agenda was corporal punishment. Though Shelby County Schools allowed, the former legacy Memphis City Schools did not.
Tuesday's vote was almost tabled until the next meeting, however Interim Superintendent Hopson recommended the repeal of the policy.
"When a parent paddles their own child it is with love and knowing that child and knowing which child will respond to that particular type of discipline at that particular time for that particular offense and this is what I think we can not monitor," said SCS board member Betty Mallott.
The grading system for grades 6 through 12 was also approved. All schools will have the SCS grading system:
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