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School CP - October 2012

Corpun file 24136 at

Marshall News Messenger, Texas, 2 October 2012

In Marshall, corporal punishment only given to those who opt for it

By Joe Holloway

Click to enlarge

School board trustees at Springtown ISD voted to change a policy preventing male administrators from spanking female students last week, but Marshall parents don't have to worry that will happen here.

"We're not giving swats to girls," Marshall High School principal Ted Huffines said. "Usually it's the guys who want it because they don't want to go detention."

Huffines said that no one at the high school receives corporal punishment who doesn't opt to receive it.

Marshall ISD is one of the numerous Texas school districts that allows corporal punishment as a means of discipline.

"Corporal punishment is an option when it comes to discipline," Huffines said. "It's in the policy. We can do it."

There are several stipulations as to how it can be implemented though, and MISD's policy is actually more specific than the broad state regulations.

Texas code defines corporal punishment as "the deliberate infliction of physical pain by hitting, paddling, spanking, slapping, or any other physical force used as a means of discipline" and allows any "district educator" to administer the discipline so long as a parent or guardian hasn't written a letter to the district expressly forbidding it ahead of time. Under current state policy, that letter would have to be resent again every school year.

MISD goes a little further than the state.

The written policy limits corporal punishment to spanking or paddling and says students must be told the reason for the discipline being administered. An administrator or designee is required to be the one who administers the corporal punishment and must do so in the presence of one other district professional employee, out of view of other students. The instrument to be used in the administering of corporal punishment must also be approved by the principal.

Like Springtown ISD's new policy, Marshall's also lacks mention of gender. But, according to Huffines, that isn't an issue at the MHS.

"We're not going to give swats if they don't want them," he said. "There're too many other consequences. You've got detention. You've got Saturday school. You've got ISS if you needed to. There's a wide range of options when it comes to that."

Furthermore, Huffines said that, though it isn't required in the written district policy, MHS contacts parents before any time it administers corporal punishment.

"If and when it's ever used, which is not very often, parents are contacted and permission is granted. Every time," he said. "Almost every time a kid is in the office, parents are contacted. When corporal punishment is used, we don't do that without contacting the parent."

DeAtta Culbertson, a spokesperson for the Texas Education Agency, said the decision whether to implement corporal punishment and how it's handled is left largely to individual districts.

"We don't have any authority over it," she said. "It's truly up to the local districts."

Corpun file 24191 at

logo (KXII-TV), Sherman, Texas, 9 October 2012

Corporal punishment in local schools

By Kristen Shanahan

PARIS, TX & BONHAM, TX -- It is not something you hear much about these days, but after some Texas students recently suffered bruises after being paddled by principals the practice is being hit with criticism.

Texas and Oklahoma are two of only 19 states that allows corporal punishment in schools and statistics show more than 200,000 students are spanked in the U.S each year, and as we have found out Texoma children contribute to that number.

Several schools in Texoma still use the paddle for bad behavior and it was a paddling at a local school that Mary Bostic says sent her friend's child to the ER.

"The licks were so hard that the child had to be taken to the emergency room to have his underwear soaked off of him," Bostic said.

Many area parents we spoke with say they are okay with paddling as long as its effective and does not harm their children.

"I don't want them misbehaving so I strongly believe if they need it at school then I'm all for it," Shelly Daigle said.

"A lot of it depends on the kids you know. We have one it doesn't work for," Lauren Woodard said.

Some Texoma schools like Bonham ISD choose not to use corporal punishment, but Superintendent Dr. Beaty says that does not mean it is a bad form of punishment. He says research he has done has shown its effectiveness.

"Grades went up on a scale of negative to positive one. We had a rough correlation of .08 which is a very strong correlation and it was even stronger for behavior," Dr. Beaty said.

Paris ISD allows paddling and Superintendent Mark Hudson says it has corrected bad behavior. He says students K through 12 can get a paddling, which under policy has to be given by a professional employee with another staff member as a witness in the room.

"Corporal punishment is not the first option. In other words its not the corner stone of our discipline plan," Hudson said.

Hudson says parents can write a note if they do not want their child "swatted".

Some Parents who disagree with the spanking say they fear their child will be hit too hard, and that is a reason Dr. Beaty says many schools do not use corporal punishment.

"Truly you can lose your career and a lot of money with one swing of a paddle," Dr. Beaty said.

Hudson says employees at PISD who administer "swats" are trained and says corporal punishment is supported by the community as a whole.

Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2012

Corpun file 24199 at

The Keene Star, Texas, 23 October 2012

School board maintains policy on corporal punishment

By Paul Gnadt


Click to enlarge

Contrary to the wishes of the district superintendent, the Keene ISD school board Monday night decided to retain corporal punishment in the policy handbook because, bottom line, campus administrators supported its use as a discipline strategy.

Superintendent Wanda Smith asked the board to remove the option of corporal punishment from the policy book.

"I recommend we do away with it because of liability issues and the danger of injury to a child," she said. "It's safer to call the parents and send the student home."

Corporal punishment is used only in the elementary school, not the junior high or high school, Smith said.

"We'd like to see it stay," elementary school principal Shannon Thompson said, sitting next to elementary school assistant principal Kelsa Blair, who nodded in agreement.

It is used as a last resort for repeat offenders and only after the student's parents have been notified, Thompson said.

"Most parents say, 'go ahead.'" Thompson said. "We use a paddle and there has to be an adult witness."

The policy states a student cannot be paddled without the parent's permission, Blair said.

"Teachers do not administer corporal punishment," Blair said. "I paddle the boys and Shannon paddles the girls."

For the student, the anticipation is worse than the actual paddling, Blair said.

"It's the build up that is the worse for them," he said.

The alternative is in-school suspension or suspension from school, Thompson said.

"We have ISS and suspension (from school), but some students think suspension is a vacation," Blair said. "Either means a student is out of class. For some, ISS is it. But when a student is sent to the office, that means he or she has been disruptive all day."

Psychological studies indicate the student benefits from corporal punishment, board member Jerry Becker said.

"Studies show that the student thinks, 'I deserved it and it's over. I received what I deserved.' I would hate to take this discipline tool away from the administrators."

Becker made a motion to retain corporal punishment in the elementary school only, not in the junior high or high school. The motion was seconded by board member Dan Roberts and passed unanimously.


Copyright 2012 Keene Star. All rights reserved.

blob Follow-up: 9 December 2012 - School board's decision on corporal punishment criticized by child advocate groups

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