Wednesday, May 20, 2009

TX: Temple school board approves corporal punishment

Older generations may recall the stinging blow of a ruler or paddle following an inappropriate comment or a not-so-innocent glance at a classmate's paper during a test.

Times have changed, however, and as such, one school district's new corporal punishment policy has a few parents divided on the issue.

"I think it's good," Temple Independent School District parent Elizabeth Santiago said. "They need some kind of discipline, and if the school gives it to them, then so be it."

According to the district's policy, if a student causes a major disruption at school, parents can approve a paddle-spanking by the principal or assistant principal.

"We are honoring that parental request and the consistency between home and school," TISD Assistant Superintendent John Hancock said. "Discipline is a collaborative issue."

Temple ISD said this is not a "one fell swoop" policy, but said it looks at every child, every parent, every case, independently.

"Where a parent who doesn't think that it is appropriate to spank their child, nothing has changed," Hancock said.

So, if a parent doesn't want their child spanked, the school won't do it, but some parents said they're against spanking in schools across the board.

"I don't think it's fair to anybody's child for corporal punishment," TISD parent Isam Beechamp said. "If they feel like we have children that are irate, then we need to beef up on the security."

TISD said, at this point, there are no plans for formal-paddle training for those who give spankings, and they aren't requiring administrators to spank kids if it makes them uncomfortable.

The school board approved the measure Monday, and implementation is set to start in the fall.

Temple ISD said that the Texas Association of School Boards has 92 Texas public school districts that do not allow corporal punishment and 470 that do allow it.

For more information about Temple ISD's policy, visit

Copperas Cove Independent School District's superintendent said the district does have a corporal punishment policy in place, but hasn't used it in the six years she's been superintendent.

Killeen and Belton school districts said they will not be using corporal punishment in the upcoming school year.

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