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April 5th, 2010
06:26 AM ET

Paddled for a Prom Dress

Oxford High School in Alabama has a dress code for its prom. Dresses can’t be too low-cut, too short, or too transparent. OK – that’s fairly reasonable…and fairly common. But the punishment for violating the dress code – that’s where this story gets interesting. Students have a choice: 3 days of suspension from school. Or a paddling.

Of 352 students who went to the Oxford High School prom, 18 violated the policy. 17 chose to be paddled.

Paddling – really?

Let us know what you think.


Filed under: Kyra Phillips
soundoff (197 Responses)
  1. Notseth Rogen

    Sick. Those people need to check the year.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:34 am |
  2. Shannon

    I thought physical punishment was outlawed in this day and age?!? I would definitely take a closer look at the school staff there. They sound like a bunch of perverts. VERY inappropriate!

    April 5, 2010 at 6:50 am |
  3. Heather

    That dress is beautiful, and she looks very beautiful in it. I agree with her and her mom. The school was totally inappropriate and out of line to paddle students or suspend them for this, especially for this dress.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:53 am |
  4. Maxwell

    As I was watching your story, everything seemed completely reasonable up til the paddling part. The dress would have violated my old high schools dress code as well (graduated a few years ago), but even at my Catholic private school, paddling would've been seen as an absurd and outdated consequence.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  5. Mark

    Paddled over a Prom Dress? Only in Alabama would something so stupid and moronic exist. Adults should be able to handle the length of a prom dress in a more responsible manner

    April 5, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  6. Courtney Spencer

    Does anybody take a stand on young men wearing their pants half off their bottom. What is the policy at that school for that? Her dress covered more of her body than what most girls wear everyday.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  7. jerald

    The idea of paddling these young adults is barbaric and just shows that some cities in this country are still behind in time

    April 5, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  8. Ben

    Were the ones who violated the policy all female? Who did the paddling? Whose spanking the girls in the short dresses? Seems to be on the edge of assault.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  9. Patti

    As a former high school English teacher, I wish that more schools would paddle kids. It's hard for teachers to educate students in an environment with no discipline.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  10. Mike

    Its about time our school systems take discipline in their own hands. Our children today our just getting smacked on the hands and not learning their lesson. If the parents wont lay down the rules someone has to. I have no problem with the school system paddling my child. If he breaks the rules he needs to learn his lesson.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  11. Peter Coloyan

    Wow! Really! Paddling? I would have expected this story to air 4 days ago. These school administrators are truly April fools – less the "April"!

    April 5, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  12. Cynda Clyde

    I presume paddling is somehow legal or CNN coverage would have the school officials running for cover? To imitate a really bad local commercial, that's CRAZY!!!! How about padding school officials for not educating their students? (I'm presuming less than 100% graduation and college progression). And is there no parental intervention- I don't know, something like...dialog? Question – were all the 18 students (or majority thereof) African American? It is Birmingham.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  13. Brian

    Paddled??? Are you kidding me???!!! This is still going on in our country? Over a prom dress...if anyone ever tried to touch my child (even if they are a young adult) with a paddle, a hand, a finger I would make it my job in life to make sure they understand this is 2010 and not 1810.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  14. BW

    Rules are rules. If you don't like them, either unwillingly obey or lobby for a change. But, don't just be defiant and be disrepectful.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  15. Lupe

    As a highschool senior myself, she had it coming. "were seniors we don't need to be getting punished" uh yeah. If you're dressing like a hoochie you don't have any self respect, so getting paddled as a senior should be a big deal.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  16. Jennifer B.

    I just saw this story... Where as I am NOT against paddling students who break the rules, this dress was a beautiful dress and was NOT inappropriate for her to wear. She had cleavage, but she was NOT falling out of the dress. I feel she was wronged by these actions and that the dress code for school should NOT be the same as the dress code for prom. In my school you couldn't wear clothes that showed your mid drif, yet at prom there were "Jasmine" outfits that were separate peices that did show the mid drif. To sum it up. Paddling = not wrong, but in this case used for the wrong reason.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  17. G. Suvari

    Paddling any child at school for any reason is ridiculous but I'm even more offended at hearing Kyra Phillips say, over and over again, "Paddling...really?" Kyra, you work for CNN, not SNL. Really!

    April 5, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  18. Antoinette Russell

    Although paddling is still legal in some states, the fact that most of the country has outlawed paddling should speak to the states that still engage in the act of paddling. Paddling should be illegal and I am astonished that 17 students decided to be paddled. I can't imagine that happening in North Carolina

    April 5, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  19. Conor Manhattan

    Pretty sick if you ask me. Regardless of the archaic nature of such punishment and the fact that it certainly wont change the stylings or the attitudes of these students, paddling a young adult is just plain weird. Bending a 17 or an an 18 year old girl over your knee and spanking her with a paddle for dressing scandalously is wrong on so many levels.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  20. Jason

    Crawl out of the stone age already.....maybe next the student will be placed on the "rack" and stretched.....

    April 5, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  21. Shane

    The students have the choice. They can take 3 days suspension instead. They CHOSE the paddling.
    Wake up and get a grip people. It's not abuse it's a punitive measure.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  22. Stevenson

    We are in 2010. The beginning of change and end of foolishness. A 12th grader, a future college student and young adult indicates responsibilty. Allow these students to enjoy their time!

    April 5, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  23. Linda Brislin

    I think that prom dress was beautiful and anyone who considers paddling a teen has no concept of discipline, he should be FIRED!!!!!
    Linda from PA

    April 5, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  24. mickey white

    I am absolutely firm on this subject. I was shocked to hear that paddling was an option for the students. Paddling no matter what setting is a form of child abuse, and that principal needs to be reprimanded for that ancient form of discipline. I do think the female student was stretching the appropriate dress boundaries but this could have been handled differently.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  25. Mary Niec

    Beating children at school is both inappropriate and INEFFECTIVE.

    Most of those kids chose paddling over suspension? That is a little strange. I'd like to see more on this, and more on why there is still paddling going on here.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  26. Susie Smith

    If now days spanking our own children is almost considered children abuse why would we allow schools to spank our children..Im totally against it. Besides how do we know in their own lives that those teachers principals giving those spankings are not child abusers themselves?

    April 5, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  27. L. B.

    Apparently that has been the school and communities policy for some time. They knew the rules and she broke them. Kids need discipline and both the school and PARENTS need to hold their children responsible. They had no argument with the policy before, so it should not be a problem now.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  28. Jessi P.

    I think this was absolutely ridiculous. Whenever I hear stories about people not being able to go to their prom because of these outrageous rules, it makes me happy that I went to a school in New York City where people could feel proud to bring whoever they wanted as a date or wear what they wanted. Her dress was absolutely not too short or revealing. And paddling? I would like to break that paddle right over the school's staff's heads.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  29. George

    I think the dress code of the school is important. Without it, some girls will wear close to nothing on their bodies. Parents should keep an eye on the choises of their girls. The public needs some respect.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  30. Rick

    As a 50 year old male and a PROponent of capital punishment, I give an example. When I broke the rules in school, I got paddled. And guess what? After that paddling I never repeated that mistake. Now with paddling high school seniors? I have to disagree. Suspension is the only option but an option that SHOULD be used.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  31. montanto

    I have three kids in school and realy wish they would bring paddling back as a form of punishment. growing up we had paddling and most kids feared it and we chose to do the right thing and stay out of trouble. most kids want to be sent home for three days i know i would

    April 5, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  32. William Lynch

    The men, hopefully principals, need to be better men and grow up. The principal sounds more like the behaviour problem then the young lady. Grow up America.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  33. Jaimie

    There are lots of people to blame here. The school administration is sick, the state government that allows this to not be outlawed is sick....and the 17 PARENTS who allowed this to be done to their children are sick. Until parents are advocates for the children and speak up this practice will continue. And I invite you to walk into any department store in this country and count how many dresses have a neck line "above the breast bone." There won't be many. Do some research, corporal punishment doesn't teach kids anything except who they can't trust!!!

    April 5, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  34. Kelvin Sanders

    The principal that allowed this to happen wouldn't have wanted his little girl to be paddled in school. The appropiate punishment would have been to ask the student to leave the prom. The days of paddleling are over no teacher/principal has the right to strike a student in any way.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  35. Blaine

    This just ridiculous! Paddled? Come on, like the girl said this isn't the 1940's. Parents have their kids taken if they spank their child, but some pinhead principal can paddle them? I don't think so!

    April 5, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  36. Jim Walker

    I am not certain from your piece whether after paddling the 17 non-complying dress wearers were able to attend the dance.
    And what is the 'logical consequence' relationship between not complying to the dress code and getting paddled? I think that was one of the many reasons for doing away with corporal punishment ....

    April 5, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  37. Jessica Risacher

    I've been out of high school for 5 years and have never experienced anyone get paddled not even in elementary school granted I went to school in Illinois and Indiana, but I had no idea it still existed; how ridiculous and inappropriate.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  38. Amy A.

    I just recently moved to the Oxford area from GA , when i enrolled my 5 yr old into the school system here i had to sign a paper about corporal punishment i could NOT believe this. When did the parents stop making the decision on the rights and wrong of the choices and actions of their own child . i was appalled.... it is NOT the school systems job to discipline my child in that manner ,isn't it 2010 not 1960 ??? needless to say my son will NOT be paddled at his school by anyone i think its a ridiculous action on the school systems part .

    April 5, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  39. Cindy

    What? Paddling? Even a suspension is outrageous. The dress is a typical prom dress – I don't see anything wrong with it. Who is administering the paddling – the principal? This is so backward that it's hard to believe could be happening these days.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  40. Roostaa

    When are the people of Oxford Ala going to understand that one just can not beat whip or paddle a person because their style is in opposition to the local norms

    April 5, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  41. DiAnne

    You wouldn't have had to even say where this disgusting story was from...of COURSE! The SOUTH! Please people, help get this principal fired! Our school's are in serious trouble, and all's we have to worry about is a girl's prom dress? Yes, there should be a "standard", but spanking grown children? Good heavens, I hear the banjos playing loud and clear.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  42. sunnyday

    we need to get rid of people that have a mind set from a bygone era, paddling? tthats sick this schooldistrict needs a psyche eval. these folks need to start becoming secure about sexuality, or atleast fashion.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  43. curtis collette

    i can't believe paddling is an option. i'v been out of high school for 5 years now and paddling someone in high school could of got you charged with assault with a deadly weapon, but you know what? this world is so messed it don't surprise me any more.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  44. Kara

    I live in Alabama and, unfortunately, most of our schools still employ corporal punishment. One would think a group of professional adults could have come up with a more decent and appropriate punishment (like...Could you go home and change? Your dress doesn't meet the dress code.) This is why people think our state is so backward!

    April 5, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  45. Daniel Gorz

    What is going on? Paddling?! She looked absolutely beautiful! Everyone person that worked that prom needs to be fired! They are so Anal! I cannot believe they did that!

    April 5, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  46. Jackie

    Paddling? Ridiculous what message does that send? It's ok to use physical violence to resolve a problem? And what part of the body is being paddled? They can't show cleavage, but can be paddled on their rear end? How twisted is that?

    April 5, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  47. Mike - Minneosta

    Tell me this story is a holdover from April Fool's Day. This type if punishment should not be tolerated in any school system. Discipline of this sort should be left up to the parents NOT the State. I would be contacting the Attorney General and looking into action to be taken against this school district.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  48. Mary

    Why do people let their children attend a school where corporal punishment is allowed? Also, who administers the punishment? There are names for people who enjoy doing that sort of thing.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  49. Janis

    Paddled for a prom dress, are you kidding? I cannot believe rules like that still exist. In some states PARENTS can be arrested for that kind of punishment , it is called child abuse. The students in your report are young adults, and our future. I think the whole idea is archaic.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  50. June Gordon

    Corporal punishment? I don't think so. The school's policy should be subject to an inquest. This is 2010. The young woman's dress was beautiful, and she looked just lovely for her prom. She was wise to take the three day's suspension, but now should look at charging the school. I am a 72-year old grandmother and did not think her dress was the least bit inappropriate. There are more serious things to contend with in schools today. Can anything be done to avoid such ridiculous, disgusting rules for the future?

    April 5, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  51. Brittany

    This was prom, so dress code shouldn't have mattered. And paddling for punishment? That is ridiculous.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  52. paul shelby

    sick and twisted. is this a public school? how could this be allowed to happen? nuts...the principal looks like a pervert......poor girl misses her prom...her dress is lovely.....what a shame...idiots teaching kids....reaally a crime...hopefully she is smart enough to recover high school....

    April 5, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  53. T. Naxor

    Since when does the school have the right to "paddle" someone? There are parents going to jail for spanking their children for bad behavior and this school issues a "paddling" punishment for a dress code? Something is very wrong here. Why didn't the school just choose to bar the children from the prom for violating the dress code?
    Sounds like masochism to me and the originator of this punishment should be investigated!

    April 5, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  54. JMD

    ..."Spare the rod,..spoil the child". The parents were warned,..and a number of students still "challenged" the school's dress code. They knew what the punishment would be! I say we either correct them now, or a prison guard will correct them later! A soft nation yields a soft society. All schools should have Corporal Punishment as a means of correcting deficiencies in students character.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  55. Chardae

    I think that the dress code at OHS is a great code! Its respectable and acceptable at their age. From the video, her dress WAS short. I would have sent the dress back. As far as the paddling: My school district paddled up until we were 5th grade. I am 25 years old now, and I am reminded of those times not because they were strict but how I learned from it. Every child in my community was discplined as such in the home. It carried over into the school system and I believe it kept me in on the right path outside of my mother's watch.

    I would NOT suggest that now because my school was old fashion. Things have changed.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  56. Mark

    I believe in corporal punishment. I applaud the Principal. Once in High School I refused a paddling and the principal called my dad. My dad told me either I let the Principal paddle e or He'd do it. I choose the Principal.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  57. Steve Libby

    I live and grew up in the Northeast. Where I am from paddling / spanking is child abuse. Why is this an acceptable form of punishment in the south? Is a dress worth physically harming a child? Last time I checked the way we dress is freedom of expression and If the dress was inappropriate then she shouldn't have been allowed to attend. That would be enough punishment. Why don't we offer to paddle the principle for his choice of outfit. Her dress does not seem to be revealing or disruptive in anyway. Why don't we start paddling everyone that dresses or acts in a way that we find inappropriate?

    April 5, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  58. Carol Koester

    How hilarious – tho not for the participants that were 'charged'. Perhaps submitting photos ahead of time for approval/disapproval might have helped.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  59. Jim

    It's a shame that corporal punishment is going out of style. People that think time outs work, and sometimes they do. More often from what I've observed is that it is less effective than a good old fashioned spanking. As long as the spanking is proper and not abuse than I agree it is right.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  60. Remy MP

    Well what can we say. Rules and regulations are put in place for a reason, if a student decided not to fallow them then a consequence will be in affect. In case the consequence was therefore something that should not take affect, where in 2010 not 1900's here, Why not just letting her go back home and change.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  61. Jessica

    School officials paddling students is much more inappropriate than low-cut dresses. Absolutely ridiculous and backward. The principal should issue an apology and resign. And who are these 17 kids who signed up for a paddling over a few days out of school? I don't get it....

    April 5, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  62. Amy B

    Im sorry but what they did to her was wrong! I am 24 and when i was in high school girls wore dresses alot worse then that alot worse! The dress she wore was cute and not bad at all. Schools now a days are being unfair to the kids and punshing the wrong ones but thats another story! They need to say sorry. The dress looks short because of her legs she is a tall girl .

    April 5, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  63. June Seley Kimmel

    What I want to know is...pants on or off during Paddling? Even if they are on; isn't this just a little intrusive, intimate for the high crime of a bit of knee or cleavage? What a sick place the US can be... especially the deep South. I'm moving to Singapore. At least yu know what you're getting.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  64. michael armstrong sr.

    The school was more worried about there rules being followed rather then using common since the young lady lookes verry pretty in that dress if any one deserves to be paddled or put on suspension its the school staff for not cutting those girls a little slack these are kids not Marines .

    April 5, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  65. T. Naxor

    Wasn't this the same state that barred students from the prom if they were a black/white couple? Seems to me that the US Supreme Court should start intervening in this state's laws.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  66. Ray

    I am 33 yrs old and I absolutely agree with the policy. Alot of the problems with the youth of today is the lack of paddling. There is a small portion of America that doesn't believe in spanking and they are the ones with the unruly kids. Let me say this if they were spanked when they were younger you wouldn't have to worry about it when they are seniors in high school. I don't believe in abuse and moderate spanking is not abuse.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:04 am |
  67. Monte

    As a father of 2 boys, I think she looked beautiful in her prom dress, and it did not seem to me that she was trying to "break any rule's".
    I also agree with her very well spoken comments that "paddling" and corporal punishment for High School or any child in school is outdated and should be criminal.
    Shame on the school system for going overboard.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:05 am |
  68. Alta Hackett

    A parent can't discipline their child without possiblity of charges of child abuse, but a school can exercise paddling? You have got to be kidding! I definitely believe in protecting our children from child abuse.
    This is just one of those things that borders on stupidity. Sorry! Sometimes I just have to shake my head at the lack of common
    sense demonstrated in some situations.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  69. Sonia

    The staff deserves to be brought up on charges & fired. Any adults who knew this was going on deserve some type of reprimand. They are supposed to protect students, not assault them. Maybe those adults should be paddled.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  70. Christine from Lafayette

    This is absolutely sick and twisted!!! I can not believe this is happening in 2010. She looked gorgeous. What message are we sending to our children by this demonstration of violence and insanity..

    April 5, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  71. jeanette

    Are you kidding? Paddling or hitting is never an answer for behavioral issues! What are they trying to teach these "almost" adults? Most of these kids will go directly into the work force and do they think that you can hit at a job to solve a problem? I am totally appalled! If I were a parent of one of these students I would certainly take legal action and change this antiquated practice of corporal punishment at school.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  72. Max Roesler

    We need a "no community left behind" program for communities that have not yet developed ways to guide teen behavior without resorting to paddling. Paddling? Over dress code violations? How juvenile–and how petty!

    April 5, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  73. Maribel

    Paddle are you serious? I would never let my child attend a school where the "responsible" adults that are supposed to be romodels to the children are ok with hitting a person when their ideas or authority are questioned and defied.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  74. Cindy

    If this girl (and the others) are in their senior year, there's a good chance she is 18 years old. Paddling an 18 year old?? She is an adult now. There is some sick perversion going on here. Please...some legislator in Alabama...change the law!!

    April 5, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  75. mike bryan

    I live in the Oxford area. This is typical of Oxford. There is nothing wrong with the dress. All this from a city that destroys old indian ruins for a shopping center and athletic fields.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  76. Jason P

    I have no problem with paddling as punishment for kids 10 and under. Highschool is definitely no place for paddling. What's more upsetting is that the dress was considered to be in violation of the dress code policy. Really? So are we going to revert back to the days when women were not allowed to wear pants? Or should we take the Muslim approach and make women wear Chador? Dress codes are important but this is just rediculous!

    April 5, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  77. Maribel

    Paddled are you serious? I would never let my child attend a school where the "responsible" adults that are supposed to be romodels to the children are ok with hitting a person when their ideas or authority are questioned and defied.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  78. Maria

    Paddling!!!! That school is in the dark ages. That's not allowed in the Virginia School System and I'm surprised the parents put up with that. Maybe someone should call child services to come and investigate the people that work at that school.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  79. Jennifer

    I love how CNN didn't show how her midriff was showing. The only thing that was covered at the top were the breasts themselves. Like the only time they showed the full dress was a very far away sillouette. Way to be fair CNN. Really? That girl is one of those girls who insist on being defiant against authority. She was warned multiple times! I see she gets that attitude from her mother. Have some self respect girl, and respect for authority. In the real world, there are rules on how you present yourself.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  80. Sarah

    Students were given the parameters of the prom dress code, and what the consequences of not following it were, THREE times.
    The offending students were given a CHOICE of their punishment. Not only is it reasonable, but it was fair.

    Studies of the teenage brain show that the brain, in the frontal area where making judgments are made, does not fully mature until around the age of 20. Chronlogical age is, in many instances, greater than emotional age.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  81. Amy B

    An also i went to a cathlic private school were the nuns had rulers and they diidnt hit us it is sick to paddle a beautiful girl who wanted to have great memories of her prom in her gorgeous dress lay off!

    April 5, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  82. EMcKelvy

    I just do not see what was wrong with her dress. At all!!

    April 5, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  83. David in Houston

    Why weren't the students simply told to leave the prom if their attire was considered inappropriate? To be suspended over something so minor is ludicrous. To be paddled is absolutely outrageous and medieval. The parents should sue the school board. Corporal punishment in 2010 is just insane.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  84. Haley

    I cannot believe this is still going on today. Shame on this community. The dress was appropriate and I didn't find it too revealing. And further more she is entitled to her right to freedom of
    expression. We are not Puritans or Pilgrims.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:11 am |
  85. Armstead

    Paddling should not be the consequence . If any of my children got paddled there would be a BIG problem .They should have no right putting their hands on anyone else children unless they have permission from a parent. Did any parents know about this if so i would have stood up for my child .there would have been no paddling for my child.They have no right to.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:11 am |
  86. RUSSELL A JENNINGS

    Let us be real. Corporal Punishment in schools is archaic and perverse. Assualt charges should have been filed against the principle. Has the Spanish Inquistion come back in style!

    April 5, 2010 at 9:11 am |
  87. Lorah

    keep your hands off the kids!!
    paddling is a form of abuse.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:11 am |
  88. T. Naxor

    Patti, CNN is reporting on a high school giving the children the option of receiving a paddling or suspension for wearing (by the school's standards) "inappropriate" clothing at the prom. CNN is not talking about educating the children as a whole here. If you attempted to "paddle" a child in school for bad behavior today, the teachers, principals and other school officials may find themselves being "paddled" by the students. The children these days are way past physical punishment and most of them are larger than the teachers.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  89. Debra Rottman

    "Paddling" should never be an option. No one has the right to "paddle" my child except me and if I do it the Dept. of Human Services calls it child abuse. What do they call it if the school does it?

    April 5, 2010 at 9:13 am |
  90. kaysha

    What is wrong with the girl's dress i see nothing wrong with it at all .Everyone has there own opinion i guess about about what people wear.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  91. Dru

    Every school has the right to impose a dress code, I don't see a problem with that, but I am shocked that this school would still be practicing corporal punishment! I am proud of this young lady, she should not be beat by anyone, especially teachers who should know better.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:15 am |
  92. Michael Greenwalt

    Seems a lot of people are quite willing to punish te administration for following the standards adopted by the "Community". Of course if the FAIL to follow these same standards the "Community" will fire them. If you want to take issue, do so with the community iteslf. It isn't about what we like personally, it's about the standards they adopt for themsleves. And that is exactly where the parents need to address their attention, not crying on national TV because they knowingy broke the rules and received the punishment they knew was coming. Want to bet these students had already chosen the punishment they were going to take BEFORE they arrived to the school?

    April 5, 2010 at 9:15 am |
  93. June Seley Kimmel

    The officials who allowed this punishment should be charged with felony child abuse. It is disgusting!

    April 5, 2010 at 9:17 am |
  94. Kesha

    I did not know that was even allowed any more paddling Kids .

    April 5, 2010 at 9:18 am |
  95. Betsey Neslin

    Corporal punishment? What happened to the :"never hit a girl" message? I didn't think the dress was so bad. It can be hard for full-figured girls to fit everything inside a dress. 6" below the lower hip might be a better dress-code guideline. Why do they make these dresses if girls can't wear them? And don't they know that dresses that cover all can be more alluring? The school should just lay off. Not allowing a girl to go to her prom would be more than enough punishment. They are sadistic and should be sued.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  96. Terri - Michigan

    What I find MOST shocking are the comments here from people *a parent and a teacher) who actually think MORE schools should paddle students. SHOCKING! And DISGUSTING!

    There are good questions here – were all the dress code violators female? Were they all African-American? Who did the paddling? (I would bet it was a white, male administrator – even the man interviewed.) Your report didn't tell us those things Kyra.

    What's SAD is that 17 of the 18 students have such low self-esteem that they felt the school had the RIGHT to paddle them! Only the girl in the report had enough self-respect that she rejected the validity of corpral punishment for young adults. I hope some college sees this report and gives that girl a scholarship!

    Her dress was lovely. The length wasn't bad. The cleavage wasn't toooo extreme given that dresses don't come in bust sizes (she had to put em somewhere – would a flower or a hanky have been acceptable?). She looked like a princess. I'm sorry her prom was ruined by such idiocy.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  97. Seth Armstrong

    Good morning,

    It would be very interesting to pictures from the other 300 plus students as well as see the pictures of the total 18 students who in “violation”. Those pictures should be on record if it is suppose to be a recorded punishment. Those pictures can then be compared and debated on upon the schools panel. They did not have to be judged or turned away immediately. Also the 3 day suspension seems to be ridiculous, because even on a daily dress code they just have a parent pick you up or isolate you. Last but not least it is beyond ridiculous to offer paddling in 2010. My main concern is was he trying to paddle them immediately? Did he really plan on bending a young lady over while wearing a dress to paddle them?? It seems if someone might want to question his motive behind that especially if he is the one giving the “Paddle punishment" out. It seems as if it could be a sexual advancement only if they are wearing the dresses and if an opposite sex member gives the paddling out.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:22 am |
  98. d. wholey

    touch my child and it would be the last thing you do.simple as that.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:24 am |
  99. Carol

    Glad this student has spoken out against the inappropriate control of adults in position of authority. A choice between being paddled or suspended?! I would question the motives of any "educator" who thought corporeal punishment was the path to reeducate youths' behavior at any age. In this particular circumstance, it is beyond outrageous! I'm in my sixties, and do believe in dress guidelines. While students might be asked to change attire in order to attend an event (on reasonable grounds), expressing oneself in clothing choices should never be a cause for suspension from furthering one's schooling. I'll bet this school system is missing the mark on more serious issues they should be concerned with.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:24 am |
  100. Caroline Korman

    I live just outside of Orlando and I'm originally from NY. At the beginning of the school year when we first moved down the boys brought home this form asking parents for their consent to paddling kids if they do something bad. At first I laughed thought it was a joke but realized it was not. I was outraged and wrote in bold letters they are never to use such measures on my children. How barbaric! No child should be paddled whatever the reason! Now what also angers me is if a parent disciplines their child in the privacy of their home with a "paddle" and is reported to DCF, DCF will remove the child immediately from the parent and arrest the parent for abuse. However if the school paddles our kids it's OK??? It's should be taken out of the schools!!!!!!! Caroline Korman, Clermont, Fl.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:24 am |
  101. Chris

    I do not agree with corporal punishment at all. This is wrong. What is also sad here is that if these had been boys, this would not even be news. Violence against boys is unfortunately never taken seriously even though it is far more prevalent.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:27 am |
  102. Rita

    Paddling isn't a big deal to most kids. Many of them think it is funny and laugh about it because it doesn't hurt. That is why most choose a paddling over being suspended. They get paddled and then go on about their business.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:28 am |
  103. Sharon

    The Principal of Oxford High School in Alabama and every other adult involved in the paddling of Oxford High School girls should be arrested for child abuse.

    It seems to me that the issue of sex discrimination needs to be addressed at Oxford High School too. Oxford High School's policy about beating children for subjective opinions about prom clothes is directed just at girls.

    I would also recommend that the issue of race discrimination at Oxford High School be explored too. The lovely young lady who stood up against the paddling is black. Did the Principal disapprove of the dresses of white and black girls even-handedly?

    Bravo for the young lady who had the courage to bring the abuse problems at Oxford High School to our attention!!!

    April 5, 2010 at 9:28 am |
  104. Stanley Duett

    Hey Girl ThisGay White boy says you looked good. This is just another way the over consertive/religious want control over everything we do or say. We need more people like you that speak up and let the these people know that we have rights too. I did not see anything wrong with the way you dressed you were perfictly covered up.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  105. Helen

    Although dress codes are necessary in schools, paddling is not an acceptable way to deal with behavior. When we use violence to teach our children and young adults, it says that we think that violence is an appropriate way to deal with conflict. Conflict resolution is necessary if we are to become a nonviolent world and this begins in communities.

    I commend this young woman for not choosing paddling. Paddling is often chosen just to get it over with and because it's been ingrained in the school systems that still allow it. School boards need to look for more appropriate measures to address such issues and not take the easy way out as did some of these kids. School systems that don't have the courage to change are anachronisms of the past and are wrong.

    Would you go to work every day if you thought you would be paddled? Why should we be doing this to our children in school????

    April 5, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  106. Arine Ward

    First and Foremost....this goes back to the movement of Madalyn Murray O'Hair...
    When the school system started listening to America...everything went to dogs...
    1.) 85% of the people commenting on this blog...grew up in a time when it was legal, and/or rulers to the hand
    2.) While using all this energy to protest against it...you should be protesting in favor of...as many of you were so quick to say it was the school responsibility on bullying...so make up your mind...America is contradicted not even she knows who she is...
    3.)Now these same folks saying President Obama, is bankrupting the country and their grandchildren will have to pay...it will be their grandchildren, who will continue on this rude and unorthodox practice of these United States!

    April 5, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  107. Angie

    I saw the dress on TV. It was typical prom dress style. It was not see through, it had layers of chiffon over the taffeta accetate or satin. It Looked like 1 inch above the knee, in no way did it look too short. And You could not see her breasts, her breasts did not show, she just had the typical cleavage of a full body figure.

    The school is over acting on this dress. Just how many did they over act on the other 17. And why did those parents agree to their daughters being paddled espcially since it might be possible that even their dresses weren't in violation.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:36 am |
  108. JC

    Don't believe the 300 plus kids attended that prom – how about, not even half that number. The majority of the kids get dressed and don't even go in the prom. Oxford even tell students what kinds of shoes to wear to proms. The prom is just one "incident", ask about the music the basketball teams have to listen or the kids hair requirements. We could write a book about things that happen at this school. Very sick and disturbing things happen here, off and on school grounds.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:40 am |
  109. ann neudoerffer

    Please CNN give us some real news. This story gets repeated within the half hour! Is your inventory so limited and regional that you are unaware of the many news ocurring right now as for example in Pakistan? I switch off to Deutche Welle even though my German is limited but there I get real reporting of international news , finance.and yes -what is happening here in the good old USA. This story was one of other nonconsequential news items this morning. CNN is the only cable available on our satellite out of the US and obsessing on small town uproars makes the US look very regional.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:44 am |
  110. Bruce

    They had restrictions on prom dresses because they didn't want to promote too much sexuality, right. To my knowledge, 'paddeling' usually takes place on a bent over buttocks. THIS is a far, far more sexual act for the paddeler. Sounds like the school staff is full of pedophiles.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  111. linda

    Spanking your 7 year.old makes since as a corrective tool. Not so for a 17 year old young lady. Should they expect to be paddled on the job in their town? Does the principle get paddled when he doesn't follow the rules? At the age these young adults are, spanking is NOT going to affect their future behavior. They are no longer children. In most states, they are considered adults.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  112. John Williams

    When we don't follow the law or rules there is a penalty to pay.
    The girls were warn three times what was not acceptable and they choose to be disobedient. As far as being paddle this worked in my day and it still would work today.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  113. Matt

    Wow! All you liberals need to get a grip. Paddling is an acceptable form of punishment in many states and I see nothing wrong with it. Those states that don't have it probably have higher rates of juvenile delinquency than those that don't. This youg lady broke the rules of her school and must accept the consequences. Moreover, it's very important for teens to learn that they cannot simply do anything they want to or anything they happen to see on MTV. We need more discipline in our schools, not less. So, yes I fully support her principal and the rules established at her school.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  114. megan

    i would rather get paddled then expelled that way my parents wouldnt find out i got in trouble

    April 5, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  115. Elaine

    She should rec eive some form for discipline for disobedience as well as for looking so terrible.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  116. Scott Stodden

    I don't know what to think on this issue Kyra to be exact! I mean really, Paddling? In one way maybe this kind of punishment is good for kids, it teaches them respect and to do the right thing so maybe we need to go back to the old days but on the other hand it also sets up not only a whole handful of lawsuits but also abuse cases as a whole! In the end I would say no this not the proper or appropiate way of handling ones punishment who broke the rules, even suspension for this minor such incident is a little to far, give them like a week of detentions its not that serious!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    April 5, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  117. Robert Dentan, PhD

    Paddling school children in the US is an offshoot of slavery, pretty much limited to states in the Old Confederacy. You want to instill slavish attirtudes in children, it's a great idea. Otherwise it sucks.

    Bob.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  118. bimil

    when i look outside my patio i can see people dressed worse than wat dis gal has worn to the prom. dis is not acceptable, i think the suspension should be withdrawn.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  119. Mike

    Lets keep in mind that these kids choose to be paddled. They had other choices.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  120. Barbara E Bj

    Where's a picture of the dresses the girls wore that got them punished... ALL the ones who were either suspended or paddled.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  121. blwpyrtv

    Young lady, your clothing shows a lack of modesty. Therefore, you must stand in front of the principal and bend over so he can smack your upturned buttocks.

    Talk about mixed messages!

    Not surprising that this happened in Alabama (see also: Judge Herman Thomas).

    April 5, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  122. Bee

    One word "Alabama"

    April 5, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  123. Angela

    They need to seriously bring paddling back. The disrespect for authority and good manners has reached a peak. Educators need our support to actually educate our children to be productive members of society and not just entertainers. I am also tired of seeing kids dressed like street walkers going to the high school by my house. It is not totally their fault because that is what the fashion industry gives girls to wear. The parents do not have to allow them to buy it. You can dress anyway you like at home!

    April 5, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  124. Carol

    What is the message from someone who should be a mentor?... it is okay to hit you if I don't like what you are wearing, or...take a three day absence from keeping up with your schooling. Mindless!

    April 5, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  125. Anna

    You have to be kidding? Last week we were talking about bulling in the schools. Is this not a form of it ? Now the teachers are teaching kids to hit ? How stupid .

    April 5, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  126. Lisa

    If the Oxford High School in Alabama 'paddles' students for a dress code for a prom, then the heck do they do to the students caughts with drugs or guns?

    April 5, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  127. Bee

    or maybe they should don those great goddy dresses the girls ware at the Senior Bowl in Mobile

    April 5, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  128. Cathy Clark

    At 17 it is just wrong to do that to a girl. The consequence should be that they werent allowed to enter the prom. But at a younger age,for boys and girls, for disrespect,defiance–is it wrong? The schools use to be safe,kids behaved....Somebody has the right idea but at `17 it is much too late.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:14 am |
  129. fred

    i live in birmingham and my son is in school here and has been trained to tell them not to touch him and to call me. ii feel if they have the right to touch or hit my son i should have the right to come to the school and hit him or her back. bottom line DONT TOUCH MY CHILD!!!

    April 5, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  130. Linda49er

    As far as the inappropriate dresses and mens clothing if they don't meet dress code rules of the school they should be sent home. As far as the paddling goes there should be more discipline in the schools like there was when I grew up. Nothing was wrong with the paddle then, or the good ole fashion ruler, or even sitting in the corner with the dunce hat on. If there were some of these rules now adays we probably wouldn't have the violence amoung the teens, gangs, drug problems or weapsons being brought to the schools. If some parents don't control their children the schools should not be expected to put up with it. There have to be rules and they need to be followed. You take away consequences you create problems. Suicide because a young girl is bullied? Mass murders at schools and universities? Time to wake up and smell the roses.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  131. Sivert (Laurel,MD)

    Now thats just nutts but we need something like that
    because kids are just out of control now a days

    April 5, 2010 at 10:20 am |
  132. john

    The punishment is extreme, but that's how it is now. If you're held accountable you call the news. Parents and students dismiss rules, letters etc. and then complain.
    Try asking how much a child reads at home , only to be told "READING IS YOUR JOB, that's it in a nutshell.
    I guess teaching complaining and buying inappropriate clothes (when you know the consequences) is their job.

    At least she'll have healthcare until she 26, which is a good thing, because it doesn't look like this behavior will change anytime soon

    April 5, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  133. ASHLEY DAWSON

    this young lady is at least 17 years old ,college age her mother pick the dress out please give her aa little credit. my God are we living under the rule of the taliban once again old comb-over haired men are setting the rules for women get over it . boys walk around with their pants almost falling off. i'm sorry todays women are not the genteel i can't think for myself . no wonder our men and male offspring think its alright to hit women. isn't teenage pregancies and obesity more relevate? please come into the 21 century. if these young adults can go to the middle east and fight a war, they can definitely make a decision about a prom dress, i think this is probably the real reason kids leave this backward communities and never look back.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  134. Curtney

    I know dress code are important but come on, at least covered up.
    This is a total over!!

    April 5, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  135. jFp

    Why wasn't there an option to refuse entrance to the Prom?
    The Principle should be arrested for assault!!!!!!
    If anyone ever tried to assault my kids I would retaliate in kind.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  136. Emili Andrea

    finally someone gives a punishment they'll remember. Sure its a bit medevil but come on? With the way our kids and youth are going i say bring on something they wont forget. You know it works you're just to scared to admit it. I dont think this is a crazy thing to do, what works better a good kick in the pants or 3 days vacation from school to do whatever you want? You tell me.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  137. Nicole

    As a native Californian I've lived in the south and while this seems outrageous- It's common protocol.Children serve detention in closets and are physically beaten only to inform the parents after the matter. I am curious as to how many white students violated the dress code compared to African-American students. California may be broke but at least we don't allow our adult children to be beaten in school and tolerate pre-Depression disciplinary techniques for our children. I'll take California and its earthquakes any day!

    April 5, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  138. Cindy

    I don't agree with corporal punishment and certainly I think the dress was perfectly fine, but the story doesn't really touch on whether the girl and her mother knew the dress code prior to showing up for prom.

    If it was made clear what would be acceptable and what the punishment would be prior to the prom, and she still deliberately chose to break those rules, then I think there's something to be said here for rebelliousness, parental neglect, and/or sheer stupidity.

    If you don't agree with the school's rules, then that is fine, but should have been dealt with before going to prom in what you knew would be an unacceptable dress, all the while, hoping that maybe they would turn the other way?

    April 5, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  139. Cathy Clark

    In foreign nations women are flogged for improper dress. In America children are still spanked for defiance. There is a world of difference.
    But I wonder if this school administrator punished the BOYS for wearing their pants drooped down in the same way?

    April 5, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  140. Kathy

    This young lady looked beautiful. The prom dress was conservative by most standards. Paddling is not discipline it is assault. The school adminstrators should be suspended for 3 days for poor judgement.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  141. Sheldon

    Maybe corporal punishment worked years ago but at least 30 states have banned the practice and Alabama is one of the few that has to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  142. Fred

    I think it was brave of you, Kyra, to air this story. And CNN also. Paddles are ok for canoeing. That's about it. I agree with the bloggers who refer to the parents sitting down and having a talk with their daughter...

    April 5, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  143. BE

    An out-of-school suspension for violating the school’s policy probably would have been more appropriate to reinforce the policy. On the other hand, paddling or an alternative was the school’s form of discipline for violating policy and parents of these students were obviously informed and aware of the policy when they enrolled their children in that school. I work @ a school for behavior disorders (students that violate school district policies) and five of five school days result in many students receiving multiple written disciplines, suspensions, arrests, etc., because administrators and educators are prohibited from any form of physical, verbal, and retort discipline. These students of all races from upper to lower socioeconomic backgrounds, display aggression, taunting, verbal abuse, physical abuse, etc., to staff and students which is obviously learned in their homes. Their parents render no discipline in the home, are too busy to participate in their children’s academic lives, believe their children are never guilty of any adverse behavior but send the children to school expecting administrators/educators to tolerate, overlook, or fix the behavior and then are offended when their child is disciplined for their actions. It is evident that many parents fill their children’s minds w/the notion that they can violate school policy or disrupt a learning environment without hesitation because educators are prohibited from any form of discipline and more evident when a child says to an educator "my mom will get a lawyer and sue you if you holler at me or suspend me.” My five siblings and I attended parochial schools from K-12 and each school’s form of discipline was the position. We never received or witnessed any harsh discipline; however, on rare occasion a parent would confront administratoin or withdraw a student if they felt the discipline was inappropriate. Nurturing and discipline start in the home. When children enter the school system, their parents should have already cultivated the tools necessary for their children to know and understand the difference between right/wrong, good/bad behavior. Many parents do not want to take responsibility for their childrens' behavior but want to dictate to our school systems. The young lady's school had a dress policy which administrators should continue to uphold. Paddling as a method of school discipline is outdated but this situation does not warrant national media attention.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  144. kayla sheaffer

    i honestly think the idea of dress codes are stupid. wearing what you want is a way you can express yourself, and because of dress codes its hard to do that

    April 5, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  145. Carol

    For everyone supporting physical punishment as the solution to school problems nowadays, realize what is being taught – fear, resentment, maybe brutality. We all need discipline, but it is nurturing guidance that encourages healthy-minded, motivated, EMPATHETIC citizens. Just look to the outstanding teachers that have altered the lives of students within schools previously lacking in achievement. When one resorts to physical retaliation to "teach", it reflects one's own lack, first, of developing self-control, and second, of a more resourceful response.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  146. Sian

    Paddling? Over a short dress? I'm sorry but this does seem unresonable to the extreme. I know some people are saying it's good to teach discipline but this girl was not out attacking people or anything – she was merely attending her school prom that she was excited about, her mother agreed on the dress so she obviously thought her daughter could wear it (and from the video I've seen her mother doesn't appear to be the sort of person who wouldn't really care/ dresses like a 'hooker' which is what I assume the rules were trying to prevent the girl's looking like). Paddling people for what they wear is discrimination – they were not doing anything that would hurt anyone else. Once they are adults (although they are 18 so really they are pretty much adults now anyway) they will go around wearing what they want and no authority will have stop them unless they are wearing NOTHING, so why punish them at school for this? It is utterly ridiculuse

    April 5, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  147. JMD,..in Northern VA!

    ..on second thought! The girl's mother should be paddled too,...for 1)buying the address,...and 2)allowing here to wear it to school. Our kids schools are for educational purposes in preparing them for being a responsible and productive adult. The attire that teens wear to school should not be a precursor to a working street woman! So, with that,...the girl's grandmother should paddle her mother! THis way,..they both learn a valuable lesson.

    JMD

    April 5, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
  148. Nicole

    What's ridiculous about this is that the entire episode could have been avoided – Give the the girl's a "dress rehearsal" a few weeks before the prom. If the dress isn't acceptable they have time to make changes. It sounds as if the school deliberately set the kid's up for failure. Any person who feels that dress was inappropriate or that paddling young women is acceptable is one step away from finding the Taliban "acceptable."

    April 5, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  149. Cathy Clark

    Yes, things are out of hand in the schools. But physical punishment on teenage girls is wrong,for many reasons. Years back-MAYBE...maybe.
    Just one thought. The teen pregancy issue. What IF,what if one of these girls were pregnant...hitting them with a BOARD? What if one of them were on her period...they are YOUNG WOMEN. Save the paddling as a last resort for younger defiant kids or the boys with the droopy pants.
    The INTELLIGENT answer would be to have not allowed them through the prom entrance if the dress were skimpy.

    April 5, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  150. SW

    I would of definitely taken a 3 day vacation off of school...what's wrong with these people? Paddling?? Really?

    April 5, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
  151. Siani

    I'm english, so don't fully understand, is paddeling like a smack?

    April 5, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  152. Rachel Cammer

    Child abuse? Being paddled? That is so unreasonable. That principle is being WAY too harsh on the kids. The kids or seniors they are old enough to make their own decisions, especially on choosing a dress.

    April 5, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  153. Ingo Breuer

    Today I visited an old schoolhouse in the Smoky Mountains National Park. It was an old log structure and also served as a church. That is what built this nation. There was a Bible in that school and there was prayer in that school. I think schools have gone astray from the original vision of early Americans. However, paddling is a proper form of administering discipline if reproof is not being accepted. Dress standards are defined in the Bible and schools need rules and restrictions in order to create a positive learning climate. Schools are not a place to display the flesh with revealing attire. Every students needs to possess a sense of order and needs to be sensitive to what is appropriate. The school should require uniforms and comunicate a dress code or basic dress principles so the student knows what is expected of him/her.

    April 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  154. Chris of EC

    The fact remains, as barbaric as paddling 17-18 year olds sounds, only one girl out of 18 cited for the dress-code violations chose the 3-day suspension; so the 17 who chose to get paddled evidently didn't consider it too bad...

    April 5, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  155. Jeryl

    As to the question as to why they would choose a paddling over three days suspension: the paddling is over and done with in mere moments. In most states, school paddlings cannot exceed five strokes and cannot be hard enough to bruise the student. A three-day suspension often carries with it a zero for each grade missed during the suspension. Ergo, the paddling is shorter, done with, and no grades are lost and they get to be with their friends almost immediately. Really, to a teenager, it's a no-brainer.

    A Former Headmaster

    April 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  156. Tb

    This story is highly suspect in my opinion. As far as I'm concerned, if I were any of these parents of any of these kids, I would demand an investigation. There is no good reason to hit children and this is just so weird, strange and kind of unnerving this is really going on in our country. Bad enough the catholic church is spinning with controversy, but this? Strange! The DA of that locale needs to start asking some questions. Period.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  157. Jeff

    "By hitting a child to try to make a point is cruel; it's cruel and it's anomalo

    April 5, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  158. janie

    this is a perfecly normal disaplinary action in schools in alabama thats the way life works down here get use to it the rest of us in school are it kinda makes u think twice befor doing somthing wrong

    April 5, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  159. ok

    Any Educator that believes that paddling is an effective behavior management tool doesn't belong in the classroom or near kids for that matter. Any parent that allows someone else to hit their children in a school setting especially, or discipline with physical punishment should be charged with neglect or child endangerment as well. This is sick, plain and simple. I am simply ashamed that there are educators that believe in this. No college of education in the U.S. Teaches educators to do this. None!

    April 5, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  160. Peggy Friedman

    What, we have Sharia law in this country now? Please, how much pleasure did the paddler get out of this? Sick, sick, sick! I cannot express my disgust for a school system that did this.

    April 5, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  161. ok

    CNN needs to cover this story more – These are a few of the states that allow this 'paddeling' in schools:
    Georgia
    Texas – leads the nation in the numbers
    North Carolina –
    Arkansas
    Tennessee

    Is it any wonder why we have way too many pedophiles in our communities. This legalized battery of children needs to be outlawed. Shame on the state lawmakers for ignoring this issue.

    April 5, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  162. Julie Worley

    Current News Headlines "Girls Spanked, Suspended for Skimpy Prom Dresses" at Oxford High School, Alabama and “Stopping bullying before it starts” related that elementary school children in Kennett, MO
    are punished for bullying by being hit with wooden paddles to deliberately inflict physical pain and suffering as Punishment known as Corporal Punishment or Paddling or be being suspended. Hitting children in schools to Punish them is NOT the answer!

    Decades ago, no one questioned corporal punishment of children in schools (Illegal in Schools in 30 States today), and police tended to think of domestic abuse as a private matter between husband and wife, rather than a criminal act.

    Instances of physical and sexual abuse regularly occur in our public-school systems which is why we must make our collective voices heard to Demand U.S. Education institute nationwide policies and practices of zero tolerance for abusers, compensate victims for counseling as long as needed and implement background checks and educational programs for all employees and volunteers in order to identify and prevent child sexual and physical abuse.

    Our children are worth the effort to protect them and we must demand “Best Practices” that teach children “discipline” through non-violent practices in schools. Students must be taught why what they did was wrong and given the tools to improve behavior/decision making skills while empowering them with awareness to their human right to integrity of their bodies (hands-off!) in our schools and society.

    April 5, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  163. Greg in Seattle

    May, are you SERIOUS? These were YOUNG ADULTS! Paddling period is outdated and an abusive way to teach children. I'm sorry, but there was NO EXCUSE for what that principal did. He should be fired, or at the very least., shoujld be made to apologize for his inappropriate and completely out of line behavior. This was a MINOR violation. If you read the student handbook, there are at least FOUR other steps that are options BEFORE paddling, and, clearly, it states it is used ONLY after all other methods of discipline have been tried. These are adults, May, you don't hit adults, do you? Suppose that when you make a mistake in your job, May, your boss tells you to bend over and get paddled, Would you allow him to do that? Paddling and corporal punishment are cruel and unusual punishment, they teach NOTHING POSITIVE to students. These kids are graduating very soon and entering the ADULT world. Punishment fit the crime? Not even close. Shame on this principal and shame on the school board for allowing this man to continue being employed. Makes me wonder how many times he beats on the male students.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  164. montrell hubbard

    I am a student at oxford high. I didn't have the same glorious prom my fellow senior had because I did not go. I knew how they would react and and my personality would conflict with their communist view of how to run a school. in fear that I would break one of their rules I did not participate in my senior prom. I feel that the school needs to lighten up on the dress code so the underclassmates would not have to roam the halls in fear.

    April 5, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
  165. Margaret

    Well, they knew what was required and prohibited before they even went to the prom. They also knew what would happen if they broke the rules. They intentionally "thumbed their noses" at the rules. The consequences must be paid. They had a choice of what payment that would take. They, the children/young adults chose paddling. I would say, "fine" ! It is all about choices and consequences.

    April 6, 2010 at 3:51 am |
  166. te

    The issue here is THE PADDLING – the legalized battery of another human in schools. This is allowed in 20 states in the nation! The lawmakers have ignored this problem for far too long. 30 states educate without hitting. It is no wonder that pedophiles are attracted to working in schools. THIS MUST STOP.

    When No Child Left Behind is Re-authorized, it should contain a provision in it to stop corporal punishment in schools. It is interesting to note that schools that don't punish in this manner perform better.

    If the dress was that bad, the person should have turned the girls away at the door. It is strange that there was a punishment after the fact and the choice was corporal punishment OR a 3 day suspension. I betcha that the girls that chose the suspension were only doing so, because they did not want their records to look bad, so they ended up choosing the paddling so as not to ruin their GPA or school record becuase they are close to graduating. And in so doing they compromised their own integrity. I feel terrbly bad for YOUNG WOMEN who have to make this choice! It's sexist and disgusting, they are setting themselves up for sexual harassment in the workplace or abusive spousal relationships. This is not a choice. I thought this stuff only happened in 3 rd World Countries. The school system needs to be investigated. CNN – stay on this story.

    April 6, 2010 at 8:04 am |
  167. te

    meant to say they chose the paddling instead of the suspension because it probably wouldn't affect their GPA or school record

    sorry -

    April 6, 2010 at 8:16 am |
  168. John Tyler Erie, Pa

    The prom is supposed to take place in a formal event not a hooker convention. Why can't the youth of today learn to obey rules, are the parents failing to raise their children with respect for the law. Life is isn't always fair and you may not like the rules that exist so take the punishment and grow up.

    April 6, 2010 at 8:47 am |
  169. Jim Fisher

    I am a school board member in Alabama who is trying his best to combat this archaic, violent practice. It is an uphill battle here in the south where paddling has been the norm forever.

    I tried to get our policy council to write a policy banning the practice and was unsuccessful last year. I am making another attempt this year and suspect I will not get a ban but will be able to place more restrictions on it. It's a step, I guess, albeit unsatisfying.

    The most common defense from parents are "I got paddled and turned out OK," and, of course, "The Bible says not to spare the rod." It makes my blood boil.

    Well, I got paddled, too, by my first grade teacher and hated coming to school. That pretty much set the tone for the rest of my school years.

    Many of the kids who misbehave and get paddled have behavioral issues because they witness all sorts of horrors at home – perhaps including beatings. Then they come to school and receive more of the same?

    And the rod? Please. That sentence was uttered by King Salomon, a man who had 900 wives and 1200 children – not exactly the kind of moral example I would want to model.

    The administrators state that it is effective for some students and claim they do not do it unless absolutely necessary. Well, our educators need to study the mountains of evidence that clearly show the harmful effects of violence and clearly show the benefits of positive behavior programs.

    I have presented this data to the administrators but have no expectations that they will even study it, much less change their minds.

    So the battle will continue.

    I urge anyone that feels strongly about this to run for office and get elected to the board of education. This practice will not stop until the citizens come out in force to insist on change.

    Jim Fisher
    Florence, Alabama

    April 6, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  170. te

    Bravo to you Jim Fisher ! There are national initiatives to change the LAW. Right now SB 2860 is stalled in the Senate HELP committee. Since this is just a bill regarding putting tighter restrictions on restraint and seclusion (this abusive practice has been covered by cnn too) – an amendment can easily be added. Abusive practices in schools must end. There is no excuse for someone in the education field to brush this off as – i turned out ok, or that it works on some kids, that's absolute hogwash.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  171. london

    this is utterly ridiculous!
    What we should be looking at repealing is our basic civil rights to love & marry whomever we choose and to not have to be worried about loosing our jobs strictly on the basis of be homosexual. There are still states that can legally fire you just for being gay. For every study that says being gay is not genetic, there is another that says it is. In my family there are 4 daughters and 2 sons, all 3 girls are gay and one son. We were not raised together, in fact 2 of us were adopted and didn't find each other till our late 30's and then discovered that we were gay, nothing to do with environment there!

    April 6, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  172. Hollie Hinson

    Paddling? Are you kidding me? That is absolutely ridiculous, thats not how those kids need to be punished. Say for instance that you violated the dress code at your job. Are they going to paddle you? No, they are going to write you up for a violation and leave it at that. Sure it probably won't look good on your records but thats a way better solution to this than paddling.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  173. Randy

    Hi Kyra, Im a gay man from Toronto, Canada. I can't believe that such a law even existed. This is for sure an outdated law that needs to be removed.. Also,, it greatly offends me that some people still try to link homosexuality with sex offenses. The U.S is a great country and should remove any laws that can hurt the image of all of the people living there. Keep fighting for your rights America!!! Canada stands with you.

    Thanks Kyra

    Randy

    April 6, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  174. Jon

    I am surprised that such LAWS are still in place. It is disturbing that tax paying citizens are expected to fund such research.

    The Laws appear to be fruitless, discriminatory and unnecessary. They should ALL be removed.

    I have many homosexual friends that are much happier and considerably more stable than most of my heterosexual friends.

    Both of my children were married by homosexual ministers and that might speak volumes for repealing the likes of these biased laws.

    We need to eliminate tax burdens of any and all discriminatory laws.

    I was alarmed and frustrated by the psychotherapist on the show this morning. That gentlemen needs more therapy I suspect.

    Thank you for getting this effort reported on national news.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  175. tania

    Kyra, homosexuals are not perverts and pedophiliacs, those are
    heterosexuals and the ones hiding behind their habits.
    Richard Cohen was perhaps never a homosexual or he is living a life of a lie.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  176. te

    you'd think with all the heat on the catholic church, these school districts would not even have paddling as an option. Seriously think about it!! Put the heat on the public school systems that engage in this nonsense.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  177. brandon

    any state that still spanks our kids is wrong thats our job not thiers but thats what you vote for the prom dress is up to the parents

    April 6, 2010 at 10:11 am |
  178. Fre

    There are far worse things to get paddled over other than wearing the wrong dress. Really? SMH. 😦

    April 6, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  179. Fre

    Besides, what may seem "indecent" to the administration may be acceptable by the general public. I've seen some dresses that may be a tad low-cut, but not disrespectful, yet people criticize women for wearing it.

    Like someone else said earlier, if a boy came to the prom with his pants slightly hanging low, would he get paddled, too? SMH.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  180. RU4Truth

    Sounds like a good alternative for somebody looking forward to inflicting pain and humiliation on a female. Now, why should any of us be surprised that females are targeted to demean and humiliate. Yes, this is a patriarchial society and subtle practices engrained in our culture are too easily overlooked. Shame on all of us.

    April 6, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  181. Liz

    Rules are rules. Every school should be allowed to paddle. Parents sign a form at the beginning of the year to allow this. When I did it my kids thought I wouldn't allow this. YES I DID ALLOW THIS. Kids get away with too much today and then we sit here and wonder WHY or world is the way it is. I live in a big city. I see everyday what kids are like. They have no respect what so ever. When I grew up kids had respect for everyone. Just remember this. The kids that are acting the way they are, are going to be the ones who run everything for us when we get old. I for one am scared of that thought. Parents need to control their children either that or they should be severely punished. For it is the parents fault for not doing their job in the up bringing of these children.

    April 6, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  182. Emma

    Yeah, I agree with Liz. There is something wrong with our world today!
    Luckily my girls get disciplinin' from their daddy. He's the disciplinary in our household, but I'd be happy if the schools shared that responsibility. God knows the devil works his way into girls these days. They're always makin' up stories, sorted stories claiming wicked things about the men in our community. They get it from the t.v. and all the dirty things they're exposed to in this time. Paddlin' teaches virtue to our girls. Men do the disciplining around here and I don't question their methods.

    April 6, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  183. Jim Fisher

    Emma, wow. You might be onto something.

    Was hubby successful in beating the devil out of your girls? I am presuming he uses his bare hands on their buttocks? I hear that is the best way.

    Your hubby sounds like a lovable guy. You are a luck girl . . . And I bet you behave, too!

    April 6, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  184. K

    I'm amazed that this conversation is still considering whether children should be punished or spoiled. There are certainly no children in this story and If you are a parent who thinks a principal paddling your 18 year old daughter is fine, I'd say you either had a good lobotomy or you're a closet sex-offender yourself. These 17-18 year old young women were sexually assaulted by a man in a position of authority–a position he readily abused for reasons that are obvious if you have more than cotton for brains. The strange and unusual thing about this story is that the sexual assault was apparently approved by parents and legally carried out. America 2010, really? Please someone tell me this story is fake!

    April 6, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  185. Emma

    I apologize Jim. I was mocking/doing a parody of the people on here who admit they approve of this type of punishment and even think it's good. I just read that you live among this type of mentality and are trying to change it. I am sorry that to some of you I sound like a "real" person you encounter everyday. I am from Canada (not that we are perfect by any means either) and my very kind husband just told me about the students being paddled and I was outraged so I figured I'd make fun of people like Liz to make myself feel better. It's a very sad and sick situation in those schools and my heart goes out to those young women who were unnecessarily humiliated and abused. I really hope you are successful in stopping this practice.

    April 6, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  186. Tricia

    I think its a fantastic IDEA!!! Thats what is wrong with American children nowadays! No one takes the initiative to discipline children. They are too afraid. Well I for one think that if more children were spanked then we would have much better children.

    April 7, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  187. marquisa

    i seen that dress she should have been sent home with no paddling
    i dont no why WOMEN fell like that they can just wear anying thing .
    some things are just meant to wear in the confornt of there home
    i wish my child would have bought something like that

    April 7, 2010 at 10:11 am |
  188. glen

    High school young adults are too old to be subject to being paddled, girls at that! This story makes my blood boil. If the dress is not appropriate then don't let them go to the prom, that would have been fitting punishment. This is sick

    April 7, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  189. Retired Teacher

    I'm a retired teacher for 7 years and I wish I would have had the opportunity to paddle all the misbehaving and sassing students (both boys & girls) when I taught. Don't think for a minute teachers don't wish they couldn't apply the paddle to a misbehaving students bottom.

    JC

    April 7, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  190. NorthwestIslander

    A high school official–or any other adult–paddling a post-pubertal young woman on an eroticized body part? Her entire senior class, her peers, obviously aware of it?

    Are you kidding?!

    It's really a very simple equation.
    Women humiliated + violated = School officials titillated.

    It's also, quite plainly, sexual assault.

    [To anticipate one objection: gender of the perp is entirely irrelevant]

    The school representatives deserve nothing short of criminal prosecution. It's an outrage.

    April 7, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  191. james stpaulin

    For my point of view,the catholic church is responsible for all this
    mess, if a priest want to married, you can't prevent them to do so,
    it's up to them.

    April 7, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  192. M.Jarvis

    I think CNN should follow up on this story! I would like to hear more about the rules in that school and how much paddling is really going on as a punishment. Who is in the room when this happens? Who is responsible to deliver the blows. The principal? Male or Female? This is happening in the United States we can not just sit back and say it should n't be happening it must stop! This school should not receive any Federal money or state money to keep it running untill the school follows the law. Child Abuse is illegel in all states in America!

    April 7, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  193. Turner

    I know people think that the year has something to do with punishment, but it doesn't. Just because it's 2010 we should let teenage girls run around in a dress that looks like she is a tinkerbell stripper? The problem is that the mother saw nothing wrong with the dress, and so the daughter saw nothing wrong with letting her boobs hang out of her dress. Say all you want that people don't know what year we live in just because they believe in punishment. If more people believed in punishment, then there would be alot more behaved kids. Also, as a person who was paddled in school, IT IS NOT CHILD ABUSE!!!!! IT IS NOT SEXUAL HARRASMENT!!!!! I broke the rules, and I was punished. By the way, the people in the room was my teacher, the principal and the vice-principal.

    April 7, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  194. Rodney

    This is amazing. It would be intereting to do an undercover investigation on a person that would want to paddle a high school girl. Maybe something like the show to catch a preditor. The whole thing sound suspicious to me.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  195. Butch Jordan

    My 5 year old daughter was paddled in her catholic school for getting sick. The nun wouldn't let her go to the bathroom, refused to allow her to speak and when she finally threw up, the nun paddled her without mercy in front of the entire class for throwing up. My daughter had been taking a rather strong medication for asthma and it was a very serious drug. Our doc however told us that she could go to school. So we sent her.

    After we spoke to the nun ...who was not apologetic, we decided to get her out of that school. It took a few days and in the mean time she was sick again and paddled again. The second time the nun actually made her take her dress off because it had vomit on it and threatened to make her walk around school naked because she was sick and threw up on her floor.

    The Catholic church deserves no quarter. They are guilty of so much ...they caused so much hurt and pain that they don't deserve mercy.

    April 8, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  196. Pete

    It says Of 18 students who violated the policy, 17 chose to be paddled instead of 3 days suspension. So what's the big deal? The students had a choice and almost everyone opted for the paddling.
    Obviously the students rather be paddled than lose 3 days of school.
    I think the the public seems more upset about this issue than the students themselves.

    April 10, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  197. SJB

    22 states, all but three (Wyoming, Idaho and Colorado) in the south ,STILL allow corporal punishment. Pathetic!

    April 12, 2010 at 4:53 pm |