New Orleans School Paddles On?

For the past 60 years, teachers and administrators at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans have wielded an 18-inch-long wooden paddle—euphemistically called “the board of education”—to administer corporal punishment to students. Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond and Edward Chiffriller, a Josephite priest who is that order’s superior general and head of the school’s board of trustees, ordered the practice stopped following an intensive review process. But their decision has been met with outspoken opposition from parents, alumni, students, the school’s board of directors and both current and former administrators. During a three-hour and 50-minute “disciplinary town-hall meeting” on Feb. 24 at the St. Augustine gym, speaker after speaker—including John Raphael, the Josephite president of St. Augustine—passionately explained why they supported the use of corporal punishment and asked that the moratorium be lifted. St. Augustine is the only Catholic school in the United States to have permitted corporal punishment as recently as 2010.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

“To the Bone,” which recently premiered on Netflix, tells the story of 20-year-old Ellen (Lily Collins), who is living with anorexia nervosa.
Karen RossJuly 21, 2017
The distinction between the disciplines of theological work and how these function in our common life is necessary.
What is it about habits and cassocks that capture the imagination of even secular audiences?
Ashley McKinlessJuly 21, 2017
Why Ron Hansen will never read the Gospels the same.
Ron HansenJuly 20, 2017