Paddling case against coach dismissed

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 9, 2000

Staff Writer

March 8, 2000 10 PM

The case of a coach accused to bruising a child during a paddling has been dismissed.

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In the case, Charles Henderson Middle School Coach Forest Lee was accused of bruising a 12-year-old boy during punishment on Nov. 12 of last year.

The coach, who pleaded not guilty, was accused of leaving the boy with bruises to the buttocks and a sprained back. He was charged with third-degree assault after the incident.

But, on Tuesday, the Troy Municipal Court Judge N.J. Cervera issued an order for dismissal.

On behalf of his client, attorney Allen Jones said he wants the public to know Lee has been "exonerated of that, which we were confident he would be."

Cervera’s order states, "The victim Keith Barron, a minor, was disruptive during instructions being administered by the Defendant. Corporal punishment was administered to the victim, and the schools corporal punishment policies and procedures were followed by the Defendant.

"The Code of Alabama, 1975, Section 16-28(a)-1 states ‘that so long as teachers follow approved policy in the exercise of their responsibility to maintain discipline in their classroom, such teachers shall be immune from civil or criminal liability.’"

When the case was first scheduled to go to court, the child’s parents, Barry and Dorothy Barron stated they would take the case as far as they had to. They could not be reached for comment following the order’s release.

Following the paddling incident, the Barrons stated they had no problem with using paddles as a source of punishment, but believe Lee went too far.

Barry Barron admits his son had been paddled in school before, but his son did not deserve what he got on that November day.

According to Dorothy Barron, her son "had a fair share of paddling" when he was in elementary school.

The father said he agrees "with spankings in school," and isn’t saying, ‘how dare you paddle my kid.’"

"I intend to take this as far as I have to," Barry Barron said when the case was first scheduled for trial.