POLL: Debate Over Paddling Students Continues

A south Texas school district is getting national attention after approving a plan to paddle misbehaving students.

Three Rivers ISD Superintendent Mary Springs issued a statement saying “While this change in policy has created a great deal of conversation on social media and in the news, this is not a new or unfamiliar policy. In our educational region alone approximately 50% of the schools allow for corporal punishment.”

State law allows for corporal punishment in schools, which tends to be more popular in rural areas.  Virtually none of the Houston area districts allow paddling, but places like Beaumont and Liberty do.

However, parents can opt in or out at anytime.

“Parents can annually give notice to the district in writing not to use corporal punishment with a child, and it goes on to say the parent can revoke that prohibition,” says Dohn Larson, director of legal services at the Texas Classroom Teachers Association.

“Corporal punishment shall be administered only by the principal or designee, so the policy doesn't authorize individual teachers to make that decision themselves,” Larson says of the Beumont policy.

Efforts to repeal the law have failed in the Texas Legislature.  The TCTA so far has stayed out of the debate.

“There are some differences of opinion, so in terms of our position, we don't have one specifically for or specifically agianst,” says Larson.

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