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Middle Tennessee mother fights boys-only corporal punishment policy

Lawrence High School

Lawrence High School

LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. — A Middle Tennessee mother is fighting a corporal punishment policy at her son’s high school.

She said it’s not the hitting she’s concerned with, but who is receiving the punishment.

Misty Kilburn said her son came home from Lawrence County High School with a letter stating the teacher in his construction trade class was going to reinstate corporal punishment due to misbehavior.

Kilburn said she was about to sign it until she learned it only applied to one gender.

The note reads in part: “Due to interruptions and discipline problems in trade classes, we are going to reinstate corporal punishment.”

Kilburn didn’t have a problem with the note, but then her son told her something else.

“The girls were sent into another classroom and the boys were the ones who had to write this out, and the girls were not to be included on the corporal punishment,” she said.

Kilburn said she spoke with the assistant principal who told her the school stopped paddling females years ago.

“I believe they are dividing the females. They are saying it’s OK for boys to get paddled but not girls. This is 2016. We are all equal. Let’s move away from that,” Kilburn said.

A spokeswoman for the school said she is looking into the issue and will provide a statement Thursday. She would not confirm or deny a permission slip went out.

A school board member said he too had heard about it, and plans to bring it up at Thursday’s board meeting.

Meanwhile, Kilburn said she will not sign the permission slip unless the policy changes to include girls.

“It’s like making the females a weaker sex. We are not weaker. We do the same jobs, we take the same classes,” Kilburn said.

Tennessee is one of 19 states to still allow corporal punishment.