Shelby School Board Takes Up Spanking And Cell Phones

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(Memphis) Believe it or not, teachers in Shelby County can spank your child if they see fit.

The unified school board is taking up a policy at their board meeting Tuesday that would ban that corporal punishment policy

The meeting is expected to last well into the night because the board is voting on 30 student policies that must be taken up before the schools can officially merge in two weeks.

Corporal punishment in Shelby County Schools could be on its way out.

Kevin Woods and other board members will vote on the new rules, which will follow the Memphis City Schools policy of not spanking in schools.

“The research doesn’t support that it actually improves performance,” said Woods.

Jade Thompson says spanking in schools is outdated and never the way to go, especially with her little boy.

“I was spanked for a long time and I have horrible memories of it and I would never do it to my children and I don’t want other people doing it to my children,” said Thompson.

“I think it can be necessary, especially the way things are now,” said Andy Lyon.

Lyon disagrees with Woods, and thinks the board should adopt Shelby County’s current policy of using corporal punishment.

"Third grade, I crossed the line and they got my mom on the phone and said do you approve or disapprove and she said approve and I got swatted and that’s the first and only time that happened to me,” said Lyon.

That’s not the only big issue the school board is taking on. They are also set to approve a plan allowing cell phones in unified schools.

This goes against MCS’s policy of no phones on school property.

“The principal will have great latitude in this policy, so if he or she wants to say, 'Well, you can use this technology for the classrooms,' he will be able to allow that to happen,” said Woods.

Woods says students also use cell phones to communicate with their parent’s after school, so he believes it’s important to not threaten them with suspension for bringing one to school.