[tforum] Utah State House still allows beatings in school
Sat, 17 Mar 2007 21:25:48 -0400
According to a Salt Lake Tribune article "Weird Laws Clutter the Utah Code"
Utah parents can give written permission to teachers to hit their children
even though none of Utah's public school do it. (Dan Harrie and Judy Fahys,
January 18, 1998).
The law was passed in 1992 and says:
"A school employee may not inflict or cause the infliction of corporal
punishment upon a child who is receiving services from the school, unless
written permission has been given by the student's parent or guardian to do
UTAH LAW 53A-11-802
In other words, who ever a child lives with- be it an adoptive parent,
step-parent, or uncle- can tell teachers to hit the child with a thick board
leaving redness and welts. The thick board is called a "paddle" and was
invented to beat slaves.
Since the end of slavery in 1865 America's schools and institutions have
step by step abolished corporal punishment. Hundreds of global and US
organizations like the United Nations, the US Parent and Teacher
Association, and the National Association of State Boards of Education have
passed resolutions against corporal punishment. They believe students have
the same right to be protected from physical violence as do wives, animals,
According to Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, "the LDS church has
consistently discouraged this approach to child rearing. President Hinckley:
"called physical abuse of children unnecessary, unjustified and
indefensible." He said: "I have never accepted the principle of 'spare the
rod and spoil the child.' I am persuaded that violent fathers produce
violent sons. Children don't need beating. They need love and
Then in 1997 the Utah Senate tried to ban school beatings completely.
The Salt Lake City Tribune wrote an excellent editorial supporting the
proposal. It explained that beating students in front of their peers
"implies they are less worthy of respect, less human than those whose whose
parents say "keep your hands off my child."
"Hands Off Those Students," January 23, 1997 ,
But when the Senate sent the bill to the Utah House, the House disagreed and
the bill died.
Now 10 years later the state Office of Education has a regulation against
beating students but it does not override the law allowing beatings with
guardian permission. Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance stated in a
2006 report that while it is not practiced, some school districts "do not
have a formal ban in place."
While school staff may be under the impression that it is illegal, some
districts are still printing handbooks saying teachers can beat students
For example, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that San Juan School District's
school board unanimously opposed the idea of ending school beatings. Its
SAFE SCHOOLS POLICY
A school employee may not inflict or cause the infliction of corporal
punishment upon a student who is receiving services from the school unless
written permission has been given by the student’s parent or guardian to do
so. This applies to students under the age of eighteen (18), or under the
age of twenty three(23) if the student is receiving educational services as
an individual with a disability.
Kane School District's handbook has the same policy.
How is beating students with thick wooden board part of a "Safe School?"
And safe for who? Teachers who can't handle students criticizing them to
What kind of school lets guardians give permission to beat 22 year old
On top of the disgusting policies of certain public schools, Utah's law and
State Board regulations have no effect on school beatings in private
schools. In fact, the government does not collect statistics on hitting in
private schools, so there is no way to know for sure whether it is being
used. Several teenagers have died in youth boot camps in Utah.
In 2006 SURVEY USA found that only a tiny minority - 15% - of Utah citizens
supported corporal punishment in school. Why should their unfortunate
children be humiliated in front of their protected classmates?
The poll's results show that Utah legislators have a responsibility to
enforce the will of the overwhelming majority of its citizens and free
children once and for all from the threat of school beatings.
"Hands Off Those Students," Salt Lake City Tribune, January 23 1997
Utah House Education Committee,
Representative Gregory H. Hughes, Chair
Republican - District 51
For the other members, click on Committee Membership:
ON THE CHURCH OF LATTER DAY SAINTS' OPPOSITION TO CORPORAL PUNISHMENT:
On the Matter of Spanking by Glenn I. Latham ,
Joseph F Smith's biography ,
Parenting the Lord's Way by Allen Leigh ,
The Book of Mormon's Opposition to Corporal Punisment , an essay ,
http://www.nopaddle.com/frames.asp?ch=11&se=127 <===(click next page at
the bottom to go to the next page of the essay)
Discipline and the Plan of Salvation by Nola Redd ,
Live Search Maps – find all the local information you need, right when you
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