ABOUT US


Tennesseans for Nonviolent School Discipline, formerly known as Tennesseans Against Paddling, was formed in 1988 by a group of concerned parents and professionals who gathered to discuss the practice of corporal punishment in Tennessee Schools. The organization was incorporated in February of 1993. In the year 2000, we changed the name to Tennesseans for Nonviolent School Discipline (TNVSD)and recommitted ourselves to strive even more ardently to achieve our goals. We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) member organization with over 100 members across the state of Tennessee. The direction of the organization is determined by the Advisory Board of Directors. All work is done by volunteers. Officers and advisory board members receive no compensation.

Meet the Officers:

Terry Kopansky, the founder, continues to serve as President of Tennesseans for Nonviolent School Discipline. He is the executive director of Mur-Ci Homes, Inc. in Antioch, TN. He served for many years as principal in the Metro school system specializing in special education for severely handicapped children. He received his doctorate in education from Vanderbilt University. His research is in the area of corporal punishment in schools and special education.

Toni Roberts of Crossville is Vice-president. She is registered nurse. She has been a very active parent in her children's schools for more than a decade working as a volunteer and serving as PTO/A President for a number of years. After observing how corporal punishment was used in her children's school, she became dedicated to organizing efforts to have the practice banned from the public school system.

Carla Snodgrass, Secretary, is the executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee. From her office in Nashville, she works statewide to bring attention to the issue of child abuse and protect children.

Phyllis Sells, Treasurer, is a school social worker in Nashville and long-time member of TNVSD and has served as a member of the Advisory Board for many years. She works in the Davidson County School System and is a dedicated children's advocate.

Advisory Board of Directors:

Gene Annaratone, Ed.D., is a professor of educational studies at the University of Tennessee Martin.

Janet Coscarelli, M.S., is Director of the Tennessee Head Start State Collaboration Office. She is recognized statewide as a child advocate.

Louise Gorenflo, M.S., is a community organizer who works to improve education and promote social change. Her work includes establishing programs which address various social problems and establishing educational opportunities for children. She is seen as a force in the region for improving education and advocating for low-income and poverty stricken families.

Tom Johnson is active in the organization Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education, Inc.

Martha Pritchett, has been actively seeking a ban on corporal punishment in schools for 25 years. She continues to keep the issue at the forefront in Cleveland and Bradley County schools where she resides. Her work in the early years with pioneer Adah Maurer and others resulted in an increased awareness of the reality of corporal punishment in schools and the need to find better ways to discipline children. As a result of this increased awareness, 29 states now have bans on corporal punishment in schools.

Linda Richey, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in Early Childhood Education in the Department of Human Sciences at Middle Tennessee State University. Her research and professional activity interests include: children's social & emotional development, especially positive child guidance; quality child care, specifically training, education and resource support of and for child care providers; and inclusion of children with special needs in their natural environments, e.g., child care, school, and other community settings.

Hedy Weinberg is the Director of the Tennessee Chapter of the ACLU.


Tennesseans for Nonviolent School Disicpline www.forkidsake.org