COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Columbus County Superintendent Alan Faulk says last year they banned corporal punishment in Columbus County, but the new state numbers were done before the ban.
Corporal punishment in 2012 is considered a controversial subject among some, but that didn't stop the practice from fizzling out in area schools until very recently.
Columbus County made up 22 percent of corporal punishment cases in the state of North Carolina; but since those numbers were released, school officials have axed the policy.
Now, students enrolled in the Columbus County School System will no longer be paddled if they break the rules.
Dr. Heather Wing, Director of Pupil Personnel Services for the school system, says board members made the decision back in February.
"Roughly, about 17 school districts were still in that option mode," she said. "We just felt to move more progressively into the 21st century, with all the other positive things going on in education, this was a positive step."
Wing says school officials had discussed getting rid of the corporal punishment policy for a while, but admits finding out their school system ranks second in the state for corporal punishment cases played a part in the change.
She says that by doing away with the policy, they will focus on an initiative called Positive Behavior Intervention Supports, which is already in place at six schools.
"The decisions as far as discipline and rules are straight across the board, from what happens to the child once they get on school bus to, the school day, and then on their return home," said Wing. "We have some incentives built into the program, that hopefully, will encourage students to do the right thing."
Still, Wing says school suspension cases could increase as a result.
"With any change, it takes a difficult moment to kind of get on board," she said. "So we will probably see some increases in numbers. But, I think with the support from our school board, community, and parents, we're looking very positive to have good changes."
Superintendent Alan Faulk was not in charge when the study on corporal punishment was conducted.