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The Houston Chronicle, Texas, 27 September 1984
30 children paddled at school for failing to bring watercolors
MESQUITE -- The school superintendent here says paddling of 30 pupils for not bringing watercolors to art class was just part of keeping "order."
"We're going to keep a proper environment in this district for learning," said Superintendent Ralph Poteet.
"Many applicants tell us they come to the Mesquite schools because they know we keep order. It (the paddling) certainly was not excessive," he said.
Several parents say they are upset about the spankings at Sam Rutherford Elementary School. A first-year teacher gave a swat apiece to 30 students in the third through sixth grades Monday.
"I can't believe kids got a paddling over watercolors," said Katy Giddings, who has a daughter in the fifth grade.
"Tomorrow they could whip them for not having a pencil," she added.
Poteet said the children had been reminded many times to bring watercolors.
But some parents complained about the incident, saying they didn't know their children needed the paints.
"I would have liked to have known that not having watercolors was that serious a situation," said Theresa Nichols, who has a fourth-grade daughter.
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