A security guard at a Northeast Washington school was reprimanded and transferred to another school recently after a 12-year-old student said the guard struck him with a wooden paddle, a form of corporal punishment the D.C. public schools ended years ago.
Cleveland Comer, a fifth-grader at Merritt Elementary School at 50th and Hayes streets NE, said school security aide Larry Miles twice hit him "on the behind" with a paddle.
D.C. school spokeswoman Janice Cromer said Miles "received disciplinary action from his supervisor and was reassigned" to Sousa Junior High School in Southeast after an "administrative review of the charges."
"School employes cannot strike children," Cromer said.
Instances of corporal punishment in city schools are rare, she said. Fewer than 10 complaints were filed last year against teachers and security aides for striking children, Cromer said.
Miles said in an interview that he "didn't beat" the boy. He had no further comment.
The boy said Miles struck him on two occasions in early November.
The first incident occurred after Miles accused him of being involved in a fight with another boy. Cleveland said he was struck again by Miles Nov. 7 in an office near the cafeteria after Miles reprimanded him and friends for laughing at two students who "had gotten into trouble."
He described the paddle as a "2-by-4" piece of wood "with a handle."
Cleveland's mother, Barbara Dockett, said the child did not suffer any serious injury or bruises.