Spanking in the classroom lands teacher in hot water

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NewsChannel 36 Staff

wwltv.com

Posted on December 2, 2011 at 6:05 PM

CLOVER, S.C. -- A seventh grade math teacher at Oak Ridge Middle School in Clover is on paid leave and expected to resign his position for spanking students in the classroom.

Chris Petrasek, 48,  is the math teacher and wrestling coach at Clover's Oak Ridge middle school.

The school district suspended him -- even before he was arrested -- saying their own investigation showed evidence of corporal punishment -- which South Carolina law allows, but the Clover school district does not.

“Our district policy passed in December 2007 basically states that corporal punishment is not acceptable and will not be tolerated,” said spokesman Mychal Frost.

Police reports show the 7th graders say Petrasek laid them over his lap, or held them down by the neck.

The reason students say the spankings came after they missed a question, or spoke out of turn.

The story has sparked a lot of conversation among Clover Residents.

“I think it’s pretty bad when they go to spanking them…there are discipline in different ways than spanking a child,” said Fay Probst.

Donald Shaver said, “It was common place when I was in school but I think that our society has outgrown that quite a bit.”

Petrasek is charged with misdemeanor assault, but has not been arrested. He's expected to turn himself in next Wednesday.

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