Texas School Expands Paddling Policy in Wake of Complaints

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 26 2012 12:34 PM

Facing Complaints Over Paddling, Texas School Expands Policy

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19 U.S. states allow for corporal punishment in schools

Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images.

Well, we suppose that's one way of dealing with the complaints.

A Texas school district has expanded their corporal punishment policy to allow paddlings by opposite-sex administrators after two parents complained that a male staffer gave their daughters bruise-inducing spankings.

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Here's how the Associated Press described the changes to Springtown's policy on corporal punishment. The school district's previous policy dictated that all paddlings must be carried out by an administrator of the same sex as the student being disciplined:

"Board members voted Monday night to let administrators paddle students of the opposite sex, after Superintendent Michael Kelley cited a lack of women administrators to carry out spankings. The new policy says a same-gender school official must witness the paddling, which is just one 'swat,' and that parents also can request one spanking per semester. In all cases, a parent must give written permission and request it in lieu of another punishment, such as suspension or detention."

Texas is one of 19 states that allow for corporal punishment in schools. About 75 percent of the districts in Texas include it as an acceptable form of punishment

ABC's Good Morning America did a segment earlier this year on the use of corporal punishment in schools, where they noted that the use of the punishment is approved mainly in southern and mid-western states. Both Texas and Florida have seen recent attempts to ban the practice, both of which have been so far unsuccessful.

The states that allow children to be disciplined with corporal punishment in schools are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.

Abby Ohlheiser is a Slate contributor.