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School CP - July 2013

Corpun file 24695 at

Laredo Morning Times, Texas, 21 July 2013

LISD trustee wants paddling approved

By JJ Velasquez
Laredo Morning Times

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One LISD trustee is leading a charge to bring back the paddle, but the superintendent and other members of the board voiced concerns about the legal ramifications of reintroducing corporal punishment into the district's code of conduct.

Rick Garza, who has ardently backed the infliction of physical pain on students as a disciplinary action, said the Laredo Independent School District ought to go back to "the basics" of managing student behavior.

"I hear time and time again that the teachers are losing control of their classroom," Garza said.

The trustee argued being sent to the principal's office has lost its meaning and that current methods only expend district resources without getting to the root of the problem.

"The No. 1 thing we have to look at it is financial," he said, adding that the courts are inundated with truancy cases only for the students to recidivate into the justice system.

A. Marcus Nelson, LISD superintendent, said if the district were to implement the policy it would entail a student being faced with paddling on a third offense. The first would be a warning and the second would entail other disciplinary action according to the student code of conduct.

Copyright © 2013 Laredo Morning Times.

Corpun file 24694 at

The Sun, Baytown, Texas, 25 July 2013

GCCISD: No more swats!

Trustees remove corporal punishment from student handbook

By Adam Yanelli
Baytown Sun


Goose Creek CISD trustees voted to ban corporal punishment in the district Monday when they adopted the parent/student handbook and code of conduct for the upcoming school year.

Trustees have had several discussions on corporal punishment over the past year, including at Monday's meeting.


© Copyright 2013,, Baytown, TX

Corpun file 24699 at

Big Bend Sentinel, Texas, 25 July 2013

Corporal punishment ends at Marfa ISD

By John Daniel Garcia


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MARFA -- "I feel that we're just at that point in society where [corporal punishment] is not worth pursuing," Marfa ISD Superintendent Andrew Peters told the board of trustees at their regular meeting on Monday after stating that he had supported the practice in the past. "It's getting to that state where it's not useful to administer. It's outlived its usefulness."

And with that, Peters offered an agenda item to ban the practice. Trustees Katherine Price Fowlkes, Cosme Roman, Mark Cash, Mahala Guevara, Robert Halpern and Katherine Shaugnessey Michael unanimously approved the motion. Trustee Tina Lujan couldn't attend the meeting.

In a fitting end to corporal punishment at Marfa ISD, Shaugnessey Michael made the motion to end the controversial policy. Recently appointed to the school board -- this was her second meeting -- Shaugnessey Michael had attempted to ban spanking several years ago when she was an elected trustee. The motion failed at that time with Halpern voting with her.

Under the school's former FO Local policy, students could be paddled whose parents didn't sign a waiver excluding their child from corporal punishment. However, the "opt out" policy still had corporal punishment on the books.

According to Peters, corporal punishment is no longer relevant in society. The practice, he says, no longer has the impact it once had and other tools at the school's disposal, such as the school resource officer, courts, and in-school suspension, are more effective.

"It worked for me 20 years ago," joked board member Mark Cash.

Newly hired principal Dr. Ross McGlothlin also supported the ban.

"You're not a fan?" asked Halpern.

"No sir, I'm not," replied McGlothlin. "I respect the wishes, feelings, attitudes, and believes [of others.] I have no comments on whether it's moral or otherwise. I'm just not comfortable with it."

The new policy states ". . . students shall not be spanked, paddled, or subjected to other physical force as a means of discipline for violations of the Student Code of Conduct…"

In other school board news, trustees were informed of staff development training for teachers before the start of the school year.


Corpun file 24702 at


The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tennessee, 30 July 2013

Paddle won't be making a comeback

School board bans spankings

By Michael Kelley


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The Shelby County Board of Education spent little time debating the merits of corporal punishment before banning the practice in a 13-2 vote Tuesday night.

Momentum swung decidedly for the ban, which required 12 votes for passage, when board member David Reaves, who had spoken previously for keeping the paddle as a disciplinary option, said he had consulted with educators and become concerned about legal risks.

"Quite frankly, I'm scared to use it," Reaves said. "You could easily wind up in court. I think it's in our best interests that we eliminate the paddle."

After receiving assurances that banning corporal punishment would not prohibit coaches from ordering athletes to run laps, a majority of the board members present agreed.

Votes for the ban were cast by Chris Caldwell, Snowden Carruthers, Diane George, Mary Anne Gibson, Sara Lewis, Oscar Love, Betty Mallott, Reaves, Patrice Robinson, Jeff Warren, Freda Williams, Kevin Woods and chairman Billy Orgel. Joe Clayton and Mike Wissman voted no.

Retaining corporal punishment in the district would have confronted students in the former Memphis City Schools with the threat of a paddling for the first time since 2004.

That was the year the practice was banned by the board overseeing MCS. The district merged on July 1 with Shelby County Schools, which had preserved spanking as an option for educators fed up with troublemakers in the classroom.

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Administrators of the merged system recommended removing that option in favor of disciplinary measures that don't involve physical punishment. A divided board delayed a decision on the matter last month.

A brief discussion of the issue supplanted what was expected to be a prolonged debate Tuesday, with proponents citing anecdotal evidence of corporal punishment's efficacy based on their experiences as teachers, principals and parents as well as the recent re-emergence of spanking in Texas and elsewhere in the South.

Opponents have cited a long list of studies published in peer-reviewed academic journals that brand corporal punishment as not only counterproductive but in some cases harmful as well.

By banning corporal punishment, SCS joins the vast majority of U.S. school districts that have been steadily abolishing it since the early 1980s. It would be following the advice of national organizations dealing with education and health care and avoiding the potential legal and ethical pitfalls of a disciplinary practice that is disproportionately applied to African-American students, particularly males.

Lewis led off Tuesday night's discussion, recalling her years as a school principal, "when I only had to mention Mister Green Jeans," her code name for the paddle, "and people would start shaking."

She changed her mind about spanking, however, after police had to be called to investigate the brutal beating of a child by her own parents.

"From that day on I vowed that no child deserved corporal punishment," Lewis said.

Warren cited professional opposition among health care organizations. Mallott noted the lack of uniformity in how corporal punishment is applied. "If parents are at risk" for spanking their children, Love noted, "why would we want to put our principals are at risk?"

The repeal headed a long list of new policies approved by the board Tuesday, less than a week before the start of the school district's first fall semester.


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