Aiken County school board member puts education issues on air with weekly radio show

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AIKEN --- Donna Moore Wesby's smooth, drawn-out velvet voice was practically made for radio. Years after earning a degree in broadcast journalism, though, she's finally putting it to work with Education Matters, a weekly radio segment on WAAW (94.7).

Aiken County school board member Donna Moore Wesby hosts a weekly radio show about education.  Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Aiken County school board member Donna Moore Wesby hosts a weekly radio show about education.

Wesby has experience in public relations and communications but had never really used her voice or the on-air skills she honed at the University of South Carolina until the Wednesday show started in 2009, she said.

Wesby thought she could put together a broadcast that would channel her passion for education to the almost 400,000 listeners in 10 counties.

After a winning campaign for the Aiken County school board in 2008 and raising three teenagers, Wesby had a front-row seat on education issues.

"I came up with a platform that was focused on parental involvement," she said. "There are so many things I could tie into that.

"My degree is in journalism, so I also have a good sense for what's going to be newsworthy," she said.

Topics include issues of Richmond and Aiken counties and national discussions.

Wesby's hottest topics include discipline and corporal punishment.

"There was several reasons that was popular, mostly because of the disappearance of it in the homes and schools," she said.

"It's one we'll continue to discuss."

The shows start with practical, purposeful news of upcoming events and reminders of important education deadlines such as registrations.

Then there's the word of the day. Wesby said she's had listeners who missed the show call to find out what the word was.

After a year and a half on the air, Wesby has settled into her new role.

She doesn't follow a script and has adapted her format so it's conversational and makes listeners feel they can call in and jump into the discussion.

"My heart is very sincere," she said. "It's a mission; it's a calling; and it's something where I can be a service and giving to the community."

Donna Moore Wesby

OCCUPATION: Owner of The Greatest Gift, Aiken County school board member, host of Education Matters on radio station WAAW (94.7), 10 a.m. Wednesdays

FAMILY: Husband, Don; stepdaughter, Britney, 20; stepson, D.J., 19; and son, Mykal, 16

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PDeverit 05/03/10 - 03:26 pm
People used to think it was

People used to think it was necessary to "spank" adult members of the community, military trainees, and prisoners. In some countries they still do. In our country, it is considered sexual battery if a person over the age of 18 is "spanked", but only if over the age of 18.

For one thing, because the buttocks are so close to the sex organs, and so multiply linked to sexual nerve centers, striking them can trigger powerful and involuntary sexual stimulus in some people. There are numerous physiological ways in which it can be intentionally or unintentionally sexually abusive, but I won't list them all here. One can read the testimony, documentation, and educational resources available from the website of Parents and Teachers Against Violence In Education at

Hitting/child bottom-slapping vs. DISCIPLINE:

Child buttock-battering (euphemistically labeled "spanking","swatting","switching","smacking", "paddling",or other cute-sounding names) for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

I think the reason why television shows like "Supernanny" and "Dr. Phil" are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.

There are several reasons why child bottom-slapping isn't a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

Plain Talk About Spanking
by Jordan Riak,

The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
by Tom Johnson,

by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child bottom-slapping isn't a good idea:

American Academy of Pediatrics,
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
American Psychological Association,
Center For Effective Discipline,
Churches' Network For Non-Violence,
Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
Parenting In Jesus' Footsteps,
Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In 26 countries, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

KidsRpeople2 05/04/10 - 04:41 pm
The TRUTH is that school

The TRUTH is that school children are treated differently in our great nation based on where they live. A black middle school student in Texas DIED by having his chest crushed when his teacher sat on him to restrain him and ignored his pleas that he could not breathe, he died on the classroom floor in front of his classmates (this teacher is teaching in another state), a Texas high school student suffered deep bruising and welts to his lower back, buttocks and back of his legs when he received 21 "licks" with a wooden canoe paddle, which broke during the beating and had to be taped to continue the beating, a 9-year old Georgia 3rd grader suffered deep bruising injuries when he was paddled with a WOODEN PADDLE 3 TIMES IN ONE DAY (Decatur Co., GA affirmed Corporal Punishment Policy 9/17/09 for school children) and a Publicly Funded Charter School in Memphis, Tennessee physically punishes middle/high school boys and GIRLS weekly during a ceremony called "Chapel" by hitting them with wooden paddles and/or whipping their hands with leather straps IN FRONT OF ALL THE OTHER STUDENTS AS A DETERRENT to publicly induce shame, humiliation and fear! The school employees in the above actions have LEGAL IMMUNITY and are STILL paid by our tax-dollars to be ENTRUSTED with the care and education of our children!

Research indicates that Corporal Punishment is harmful to children and lowers their IQ's due to stress from fear.

People with SPANKING FETISHES work in occupations that give them access to children like hospitals, schools, boy scouts, etc. and over 2,500 teachers were punished in a 5 year period since 2000 for inappropriate sexual relations with our nation's school children, and women teachers are sexually preying on children at an increasingly alarming rate, which is why PHYSICAL/CORPORAL PUNISHMENT OF CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS MUST BE ABOLISHED IMMEDIATELY!

Recently a La Vega, TX elementary school principal's arrest for injuries to a child due to corporal punishment put spotlight on school corporal punishment policies, already ILLEGAL in Schools in 30 States. It is ILLEGAL to beat prisoners.

Our children are worth the effort to protect them and we must demand "Best Practices" that teach children "discipline" through non-violent practices in schools. Students must be taught why what they did was wrong and given the tools to improve behavior/decision making skills while empowering them with awareness to their human right to integrity of their bodies (hands-off!) in our schools and society.

U.S. Congress Representative McCarthy plans to introduce legislation to ban paddling in schools nationwide. A hearing on "Corporal Punishment in Schools and Its Effect on Academic Success" was held on April 15, 2010 before the subcommittee on Healthy Families and Communities.

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