, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

October 10, 2013

Senate education panel explores student discipline

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Republican state senator from Shawnee who says a lack of student discipline is one of the biggest problems facing teachers today said Thursday he may push a bill next session to make it a felony crime for a student to assault a teacher.

Sen. Ron Sharp, a retired educator who taught for more than 30 years, held an interim study on the topic of student discipline before the Senate Education Committee and heard testimony from teachers and educators who says the problem is worsening.

“For me this is one of the most serious problems that we’re facing now in education in the state of Oklahoma — a lack of discipline,” Sharp said. “Teachers rank that even above low pay as their No. 1 problem. Parents rank it as their No. 1 concern, too.”

Dale Superintendent Charlie Dickinson said an enthusiastic, passionate teacher is the best thing for combating student discipline problems, but with an increasing list of state mandates and a starting salary of $31,000, he said many teachers feel overworked and underpaid.

“They’re fed up, and that’s a problem for us,” Dickinson said.

Individual Oklahoma school districts can authorize the use of corporal punishment, or paddling students, but Sharp said most districts don’t allow it because of liability concerns.

Dickinson said students in Dale can be paddled, but he said the district has moved away from it in recent years.

“If you’ve swatted a kid a couple of times, and he comes back to your office the next week, it obviously isn’t working,” he said.

Bill Nelson, assistant superintendent for Byng Public Schools, testified to the committee about two school administrators in his district who were attacked by students trying to break up a fight between two students. He said the local prosecutor could only charge the students with a misdemeanor because the teachers weren’t seriously injured, and he urged lawmakers to consider a proposal that would let any student who assaults a teacher be permanently removed from a school.

Text Only
Oklahoma News
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

     View Results
Featured Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.