Bucking the statewide trend, a Texas school district is reinstating corporal punishment. The board of trustees for Three Rivers ISD, south of San Antonio, approved the plan Tuesday night.
Students will receive one paddling for minor incidents, such as not following classroom rules, but only if a parent signs off first.
When it comes to the Houston area, HISD, the largest district, prohibits corporal punishment, according to its Student Code of Conduct. The practice is banned in several other large districts, such as Katy ISD, Cy-Fair ISD, Fort Bend ISD and Aldine ISD.
However, as you get into more rural areas, you’ll find more districts where it’s OK.
According to the U.S. Civil Rights Division’s most recent data available, here’s how often local districts used corporal punishment during the 2013-2014 school year:
- Hardin ISD - 175
- Liberty ISD - 127
- Trinity ISD - 60
- Brenham ISD - 57
- Sealy ISD - 49
- Barbers Hill ISD - 44
- Dayton ISD - 30
- Cleveland ISD - 26
- New Waverly ISD - 21
- Magnolia ISD - 12
- Hitchcock ISD - 6
- Royal ISD - 2
In Sealy, the board made a big decision in 2015, banning the practice.
“We think that corporal punishment should be a family decision, not a school decision,” said Superintendent Sheryl Moore. “We will provide the parent with all the information necessary regarding the situation so they can decide whether they think that’s appropriate. But that’s not something the school district wants to be involved in.”
This topic got a lot of parents to sound off online with very strong opinions on both sides.
Mackenzie wrote, “If anyone ever touched my kid, I would beat them senseless.”
Shane commented, “I caught the paddle plenty of times. I'm glad they are bringing it back. Maybe these kids will learn some respect and start acting right instead of acting like everyone owes them something.”
“As long as you teach your kids respect for other and the rules you'd probably have very little to worry about,” said Stephen.
Where do you stand on corporal punishment in schools? Vote in reporter Brandi Smith’s Twitter poll.