Controversies

Texas school district approves paddling misbehaving students

Officials at a Texas school district have approved a controversial new disciplinary practice on students: paddling.

The Three Rivers Independent School board of trustees in South Texas approved the policy Tuesday, which would allow for paddles to be used as corporal punishment against misbehaving students.

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Corporal punishment is defined by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association (TCTA) as “deliberate infliction of physical pain by hitting, paddling, spanking, slapping or any other physical force used as a means of discipline.”

Parents have the opportunity to opt in or out of the policy by providing both written and verbal consent, according to the Caller-Times. Students whose parents have approved of corporal punishment “will receive one paddling for his or her infraction when they misbehave at school.”

“If the parent is not comfortable with it, that’s the end of the discussion,” the school district’s superintendent Mary Springs told the Caller-Times.

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Corporal punishment is legal in Texas. TCTA’s websites states administrators can use the disciplinary measure if approved by the board of trustees and the students’ parents.

The policy at Three Rivers Independent School District is expected to begin at the start of the 2017-2018 school year, KHOU reported.