Personnel file of Sunbright principal reveals second spanking

Personnel file of Sunbright principal reveals second spanking incident

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Dr. Edd Diden Dr. Edd Diden

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

WARTBURG (WATE) - School board members in Morgan County will decide the fate of a suspended elementary school principal Tuesday night.

Dr. Penny Boyd was suspended last month after paddling a student so hard the child's mother said it left her son with bruises.

The parents of 5-year-old Lukas Williams said they had given permission for school officials to paddle their child Tuesday, but they never expected it to go that far.

Boyd was charged last week with child abuse in the case.

According to Boyd's personnel file, this is not the first complaint she has received over a paddling incident.

A formal complaint from a parent at Sunbright Elementary was filed just a week before Lukas Williams' mother complained about her son's spanking. The first complaint also involved a 5-year-old student.

"It did involve a spanking. It was a miscommunication between the two administrators of the school," said Dr. Edd Diden, Morgan County Director of Schools.

Dr. Boyd received a letter of correction in her personnel file. In an incident report about the first incident Dr. Boyd wrote:

"I apologize for any misunderstanding. I told both the mother and grandmother that I was responsible for the failure to communicate her request."

Dr. Diden said these two incidents have been eye-opening.

"It indicated to me that we've been a little lax in how we document and do our record keeping in regards to that policy," he said.

Now he plans to ask the school board to continue Dr. Boyd's suspension.

"I will be bringing charges to the board that will place her on indefinite suspension," he said.

Also in Boyd's record were three minor charges from the 1970s and 1980s. Dr. Diden said he was aware of them when he hired her and they were unrelated to her work as an educator.

"In the process of her paperwork we came across this information and checked it out to our satisfaction by talking to other supervisors where she worked," he said. "We didn't feel like it prevented us from hiring her."

Boyd has been a teacher since 1993 and working in Morgan County since 2010.

In the next month Dr. Diden plans to create a task force of students, teachers, parents and supervisors to examine the current corporal punishment policy.

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