paddling.jpgNEW ORLEANS (AP) _ More than 500 students, parents and other supporters of a Roman Catholic high school under fire for its use of corporal punishment marched to the New Orleans Archdiocese buildings Saturday to ask the archbishop to retract statements he has made opposing the practice of paddling.

The Times-Picayune newspaper reports that supporters of the paddling policy, including the high school's president, the Rev. John Raphael, say the debate is over the right of African-American parents to discipline their children as they see fit.

Archbishop Gregory Aymond has called on school officials to stop using corporal punishment. Aymond says corporal punishment institutionalizes violence, runs counter to both Catholic teaching and good educational practice, and violates local archdiocesan school policy.

Aymond said Saturday that he would hold another meeting soon on the matter.