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McDonald man banned from subbing after spanking incident

Published: Sat, March 8, 2014 @ 12:06 a.m.

By Ed Runyan



A 63-year-old McDonald man pleaded not guilty Friday to a misdemeanor assault charge filed against him after he purportedly spanked two students while serving as a substitute gym teacher.

John E. Jerome of Dakota Avenue was released on a personal recognizance bond, meaning he didn’t have to pay anything. If convicted, he could get six months in jail.

Warren police said they were called after Jerome spanked an 8-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl Tuesday afternoon at the Warren schools’ Willard K-8 building.

Lt. Jeff Cole of the Warren Police Department said Jerome spanked the boy multiple times. No information was available on the girl.

School officials said Jerome has been certified to work as a substitute teacher since the 2010-11 school year, but it was unclear how often he had worked in the district. He will not work as a substitute teacher in Warren schools in the future, and the school district filed a notice Thursday with the Trumbull County Educational Service Center recommending that he not work as a substitute teacher elsewhere in the county, school officials said.

Nick Graham, assistant Warren law director, said he filed the charge because spanking in schools is “pretty much illegal. You can’t spank a child. It was caught on tape. There was a little bruising.”

A Warren police report says the boy suffered an “apparent minor injury,” and the girl was injured but the degree of injury was “unknown.”

Graham said school video shows that some children in the gym class had gotten “out of control, and he didn’t handle them properly.”

The school district corporal-punishment policy says spanking or hitting by a school-district employee is not permitted.

“If any employee threatens to inflict, inflicts or causes to inflict unnecessary, unreasonable, irrational, or inappropriate force upon a student/he may be subject to discipline by the board and possible charges of child abuse as well,” the policy says.

Force can be used “to quell a disturbance threatening physical injury to others, to obtain possession of weapons or other dangerous objects upon or within control of the student, in self-defense or for the protection of persons or property,” it says.

An alternative to corporal punishment is removing a student from class or the school through suspension or expulsion procedures, the policy says.

Ohio law outlawed the use of corporal punishment in Ohio public schools in 2009.


1Jerry(742 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

When I was a child, if I had come home and told my parents that a teacher had spanked, paddled, or struck me; their first and only question would be............"What did YOU do to deserve it??!!".........Then they would have decided how they were going to punish me for misbehaving in school, after I wrote my apology note to the teacher.

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2KidsRpeople2(2 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Disturbingly, Schools in 19 states legally paddle/spank/inflict corporal pain punishment on students k-12 today. See the brutally violent truth about America's public schools inflicting pain to punishment students at YouTube video trailer for Documentary Movie "The Board of Education" by Jared Abrams. Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy D NY will soon reintroduce (for 3rd time) proposed federal bill "The Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act" to withhold federal funding from schools that allow corporal punishment of students. Hitting children teaches them that violence and hitting others is an acceptable means of problem solving and considered assault in public.

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3Jerry(742 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

FB Wisdom - "My parents spanked me as a child. As a result, I now suffer from a psychological condition known as 'Respect for others.' "

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4kleener(52 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Seriously?? Someone ALWAYS looking for a lawsuit. Injuries from spanking, hmm..a red rear end? Children Services even says spanking okay below the waist. Wonder if they'll throw in sexual assault too since it was on the bottom. Would not surprise me at all. And we wonder why our children are so out of control theses days. No consequences for disruptive behavior. My child would have gotten it worse at home, also.

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5redeye1(5355 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

To me this gentleman deserves a medal . It's too bad that Ohio doesn't allow spanking anymore. When I was in School in Pa. That was the last thing you wanted to happen to you. Not only did your parents get mad at you. The other kids let you know that you were wrong and got what you deserved.

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6eevo(51 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

At this point, does it really even matter. I'm sure this gym teacher will be audited by the IRS for sticking to his conservative, religious beliefs.

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7thirtyninedollars(569 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

And this is why kids have no respect today and have kids when they are 14. We can't hit them anymore. If hitting increases violence in children than explain the last several thousand years and how we haven't become a more violent society due to our grandparents cracking our parents arse?

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8gennette45(1 comment)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

The way kids act these days they need spanked. They have no respect for anyone and are ungrateful little brats who are handed everything they want. When they don't get their way, they throw a fit, hit, scream. They feel they don't have to listen to anyone. I don't see any pictures of bruises. I think the man should be praised!

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9seventotal(17 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

I believe that most people have enough common sense to know that properly spanking a child, when it is needed, is the correct thing to do. Most every comment here attests to that. With that being said, why in the world are we letting the government and schools do what they are doing? We are the people in charge, not them, and these are our kids not theirs. Why is everything now backwards? The fault is ours, not theirs.

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10joemaxwell(1 comment)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

For all of those that think that you can teach respect by hitting somebody you only show your ignorance. Given what we know today For anyone in this the 21st century that would allow strangers (anyone other than parent-guardian) to hit their children is unbelievable. Look at the disgraceful Southern institutions in our nation that permit this abuse and you actually can see modern tragedies in the making. There is a reason why more than half of the United States (31) all American overseas schools, Puerto Rico, DC, Canada, All of Europe, Israel, much of Asia and the majority of modern civilized countries and many third world nations forbid what is allowed in parts of the USA. Stop this violence America, this is wrong on so many levels.

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