Texas school district changes policy to allow male employees to paddle female students.

There is so much wrong with this story out of Texas, including parents granting permission for their teenage daughters to be paddled in high school, that I am not sure where to begin.

So, I will let you read this Fort Worth Star-Telegram article and judge for yourselves.

As I say whenever these stories appear — and they appear with disquieting frequency — corporal punishment ought to be banned from every school. Today.

Here is an excerpt of the story by Bill Miller of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

SPRINGTOWN, Texas — School board members voted Monday night to change school district policy to allow opposite gender employees to administer corporal punishment to students, but only with written permission from parents.

Also during the meeting, which included emotional addresses from some parents, the board made it policy that a same-gender school official must be on hand to witness, and parents can only request one paddling per semester.

The vote came after two female students were spanked recently by a male assistant principal at Springtown High School. The paddlings violated a school district policy adopted a year ago that required corporal punishment to be administered by school officials who are the same gender as the students being disciplined.

Superintendent Michael Kelley asked the board to consider changing the policy because not all of the schools have enough females to perform the task. He acknowledged, however, the two recent paddlings were contrary to the policy in place at that time, and for that, he apologized to the girls and their families.

Cathi Watt said she approved the paddling of her daughter, but said that bruises were raised by excessive force. Anna Jorgensen also complained that her daughter was bruised. “I gave consent for my daughter to get a swat, but I didn’t give consent for him to bruise my daughter,” Watt said. “I don’t think a female will raise a bruise because she doesn’t have the strength of a male. “I think this sends a message to boys that it’s OK to hit a girl and it’s OK to bruise a girl. That’s not right.”

Statewide, most major districts don’t allow corporal punishment, but some still use the old-school approach to discipline. Jimmy Dunne, president of the Houston-based People Opposed to Paddling Students, estimates that 75 percent of the school districts in Texas still allow corporal punishment. In an email sent to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dunne describes paddling in schools as “legalized child abuse and must be abolished in Texas schools just as it has been in 31 states.”

“Hitting schoolchildren with boards would be a felony assault charge if done anywhere except at the school,” Dunne said. “Hitting schoolchildren is no more acceptable than hitting your wife or your mother.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/09/24/169565/men-can-paddle-girls-under-revised.html?storylink=addthis#storylink=cpy

62 comments Add your comment

jarvis

September 25th, 2012
3:50 pm

Is paddling less humane than suspending a child that is dependent on his free lunch as his only meal of the day?

DMA82

September 25th, 2012
3:55 pm

Parents requesting the paddling?????? They should do their own discipline at home and not pawn it off on the school. But for the sake of argument, if the kids know they can only be paddled once a semester it would seem to defeat the purpose.

William Casey

September 25th, 2012
3:55 pm

Is it true that lynching is legal in Texas?

Prof

September 25th, 2012
3:58 pm

Where’s Sigmund Freud when you need him?

Grob Hahn

September 25th, 2012
4:08 pm

Gender doesn’t matter in the slightest. If a school allows one of their lesbian gym teachers to flog a daughter of mine, I’ll be getting many other people involved. A parent signing permission to have their child abused is thinking in old fashioned terms. Do those same parents send the kid in with a shiney new apple everyday? This is the 21st century and we do not send students out to fetch a switch and we absolutely shouldn’t be beating them with a ceremonial torture device. We’ve all seen them, made by the industrial arts teachers or coaches and sometimes scrawled with a clever phrase like “School Justice” or “Heat for the Seat”. Colleges are being sued when fraternities use them, but beating underage children with them still seems OK to some Americans.

Treating our children like a sub-class is another reason America is sliding.
Grob

Prof

September 25th, 2012
4:13 pm

@ Grob Hahn. Freud would have something to say about lesbian gym teachers flogging your daughter, too.

Hillbilly D

September 25th, 2012
4:23 pm

When I was a kid, it didn’t matter whether a woman was whipping my butt or it was a man doing it. I got the message, either way.

seen it all

September 25th, 2012
4:26 pm

What year is it? I thought it was 2012. I thought people had envolved beyond such sillyness as beating kids at school. I’ll give you another perspective on the issue. In the middle east teachers routine hit kids as a form of discipline. Is it really a productive means of altering behavior? Not in the slightest. At the most, it produces a temporary effect caused by fear, which subsides when the teacher is no longer present.

Mountain Man

September 25th, 2012
4:30 pm

We won’t paddle a student, but we allow students to assault their teachers. What is WRONG with this PICTURE!

another comment

September 25th, 2012
4:33 pm

@ Jarvis the parents that rely on Free Lunch to feed their children their only meal of the day, need to be investigated for child abuse. What is happening to the $75 per month that they are getting for each member of their household in SNAP ( aka Food Stamps to feed them) in addition to Free Lunch. Are they selling them for 1/2 price on the dollar to buy booze, crack, meth, cigarettes for themselves. A nanny I knew that had to apply in between jobs told me that she and her daughter could more than survive on $300 on month in Food Stamps and her daughter was 17. She was only getting $200 in unemployment a wk at the time.

Anita

September 25th, 2012
4:39 pm

There is nothing wrong with corporal punishment. That is why our students are misbehaving. They have nothing to fear.

drew (former teacher)

September 25th, 2012
4:51 pm

I see all the armchair psychologists are out and spouting their opinions. Maureen pulls out this pet topic on a regular basis, and after a couple of hundred posts, no one’s mind is changed. Those who abhor corporal punishment will continue to denounce it, and those who see it as possibly beneficial, defend it.

Bottom line…as long as the school system allows it, and as long as parents sign off on it, it will remain a tool of administrators.

Personally, if I were an administrator, I would never paddle a student. And as a parent, I would never give permission. Having said that, I have no problem at all with administrators and parents working together trying to get a child on the right path. And if a swat to the backside produces positive results, it’s a good thing. Right?

billy martin

September 25th, 2012
4:54 pm

I am a 56 yr.old male,first,my parents did their job by teaching me respect before I was turned loose on society.In 12 yrs.of public schooling I received 2 paddlings,both of which I deserved.the knowledge that not only were the teachers allowed to paddle me but they were instructed to call my father because I was getting another one when he came home was all the incentive I needed not to put my self in that position.that’s also why I don’t kill people.In the real world there are consequences for our actions,at some point that HAS to be taught

Logical Dad

September 25th, 2012
4:56 pm

Inexcusable (except by the People of Limited Intelligence). As long as there are homeschoolers, Teabaggers, Militia Members, fans of “Obama 2016,” and FOXNews viewers – there will be people who beat their children and justify it. Only 19 states still allow it in schools (and most of those 19, like Georgia, have pockets of intelligence that do not use it, like Cobb and Gwinnett). I really love to hear these….”people” who think “Government schools” do everything wrong…but think they should be allowed to beat children with a board. I close with this thought: Those who defend this believe that it is okay for a Government employee to hold down a struggling 6 year-old while another Government employee beats that 6 year-old with a board for not having a parent sign a report card. You must be so, SO proud.

long time educator

September 25th, 2012
4:56 pm

In today’s modern world we are so much more enlightened in our child rearing practices than in the olden days and our children are so wonderfully behaved and respectful–NOT. There might be a correlation here. Just saying.

Brandy

September 25th, 2012
4:57 pm

Is corporal punishment still legal in GA schools? It was when I was going through, though I never heard of it actually being used in my district (or the one I currently live and work in).

Logical Dad

September 25th, 2012
5:00 pm

I am amazed by Anita’s post. In a story about how corporal punishment WAS used, she laments that we CANNOT use it. Truly, dizzying intellect. Typical of those who defend it.

Gamow

September 25th, 2012
5:25 pm

mountain man

September 25th, 2012
5:26 pm

“Is it really a productive means of altering behavior?”

Is in-school suspension an EFFECTIVE means of altering behavior? Student does something wrong so we give him a break from his class?

Texas Parent

September 25th, 2012
5:27 pm

My first thought is: why would a parent agree to have their daughter paddled at school in the first place? My second thought is: oh great, yet another poor example of education in Texas.
I know teachers and administrators are frustrated — and with the continuing cuts in financing and the indifference our governor seems to have in public education in Texas, that’s not likely to change for at least two more years — but, come on Texas, it’s time to realize that corporal punishment is not an acceptable form of discipline in our schools and ban it completely.

Gamow

September 25th, 2012
5:27 pm

Brandy it’s still legal and used. 11 alive found through open records request over 20,000 incidents in Georgia in one school year. Those figures did not account for private school incidents and ego knows the accuracy

marm

September 25th, 2012
5:35 pm

I saw two of the girls involved in this story on tv yesterday. They were blondes sitting in their nice middle class homes, with i-phone in hand. Unless they were gaming the system no ‘free lunch’ families here, but I guess folks needed to make those comments.

Atlanta Mom

September 25th, 2012
5:39 pm

And we wonder why we have domestic abuse?

Ole Guy

September 25th, 2012
5:49 pm

I believe Hillbilly has the message…paddling, when there’s been an apparent breakdown in communication, is the only way to…re-acquire attention. You can say what you wish about humanity, civil rights, and any of the myriad of strictures imposed by father pc…is paddling any less humane than ultimately sending the kid to civil court, etc, etc, etc. Weve attached such negative labels to paddling only because the (so-called) “ruling generation”, bred of the leniency and gutless please-and-thankyou methodologies of past; the birth of the political correctness which has strangled both society, in general, and, specifically, the educational community, has allowed that which was considered normal control measures in the earlier days of sensibility to become near-hienous. The fact of the matter remains…many/most kids, of normal (whatever that may be) intelligence will, under the right kind of influence and leadership, “get it”. Those blockheads (been there done that) who cannot/will not/do not wish to “get it” must be “communicated upon” by whatever means necessary in order to achieve (let’s call them) organizational goals. In the school setting, those goals would be the simple rules of deportment which, translated into the adult world, would be the civil rules by which we must all abide. There are “special places”, designed and operated by penal codes, which are for the “convenience” of those who, as kids, never…got it. Now you tell me…is that more humane than a few swats on the six?

Ole Guy

September 25th, 2012
6:04 pm

And, Logic Dad, let’s not be too quick in lambasting those who defend this sort of attention-gathering device. The only reason there are so many roadblocks is the very same reason I have outlined in the previous remarks. The (so-called) rule-makers du jour are, themselves, products of the beginnings of a period of time when common sense (though unsavory) approaches to student control (that’s exactly what it is; that’s exactly what it should be; that’s exactly why the educational systems are FUBAR) were, out of a weakness of resolve, and a fear of pissing people off, all but eliminated in favor of allowing yet-to-be-disciplined kids to make decisions which they were not, and would never be able to make. You can ascribe any means you wish to the point. For the religously-oriented, I believe there is some scripture or another about reaping what is sown. You raise these kids in a world of do-what-you-damn-well-please poo poo and that’s exactly what emerges from the educational systems…poo poo.

Logical Dad

September 25th, 2012
6:42 pm

I rest my case. Ole Guy, you make this too easy. (Let me guess, you’re a “small Government conservative” too, right?)

3schoolkids

September 25th, 2012
6:55 pm

Violence begets more violence. There is no place for corporal punishment in any school. The fact that the mother was ok with paddling as long as no bruises were raised is disturbing. Permission or not it also sets up the school for liability in sexual harassment and civil rights claims, just another waste of resources and taxpayer money. It is time for laws to ban it outright in any school that receives federal, state or local funding (which in Georgia includes private schools, charter schools and public schools).

DaPoet

September 25th, 2012
6:55 pm

As a society we look the other way and laugh when boys and men suffer from violence especially when that violence comes from the hands of a female. As a result I have absolutely no empathy for women as turn about is fair play.

Solutions

September 25th, 2012
6:56 pm

What is it with Texas, 50 shades of the gym teacher? Beating employees is against the law, why should it be legal to beat a child in school?

Prof

September 25th, 2012
7:27 pm

Just as a reminder to those who are writing about those punished here as being “a child.” This law pertains to teenaged, post-pubescent girls, being paddled by adult male employees. Paddling is “spanking administered by a paddle.” It is not “a few swats on the six,” per Ole Guy. This has, to be heavy-handed about it, disturbing overtones of legalized sado-masochism.

BehindEnemyLines

September 25th, 2012
7:38 pm

And as I say whenever you say something as absurd as attacking corporal punishment, there’s no shortage of people who aren’t fit to be parents and are a major part of the problem with America today.

Maureen Downey

September 25th, 2012
7:48 pm

@Prof, I agree. I don’t like whacking kids in school under any circumstances but there are creepy overtones to a male adult paddling teenage girls while a female administrator watches.

Maureen

bootney farnsworth

September 25th, 2012
8:05 pm

while I got no moral issue with paddling as a last resort, there is reason on earth for a grown man to be paddling a teenage girl.

and paddling high schoolers? really? speaking as a chronically misbehaving child who was paddled on more occasions than I can remember, by middle school it had totally lost all effectiveness. if someone had tried to paddle me I would not have stood for it.

not Texas brightest hour here.

mountain man

September 25th, 2012
8:07 pm

“there’s no shortage of people who aren’t fit to be parents and are a major part of the problem with America today.”

Let’s see…

1950 – we had paddling and we had good schools and little discipline problems

2012 – we DON”T have paddling and we have poor schools with major discipline problems.

Coincidence? I think not!

mountain man

September 25th, 2012
8:09 pm

I agree – we shouldn’t paddle students.

Just wait a few years until they commit their first felony and put them in jail.

mountain man

September 25th, 2012
8:12 pm

Paddling teenage girls – hope that doesnt harm the baby!

Mary Ann

September 25th, 2012
8:23 pm

Da Poet- please consider counseling for your anger issues toward women. Violence against men is just as tragic and evil as violence against women, but the latter far more often results in injury or death for the victim, so it makes sense for people to have a more visceral reaction to it. Please do not assume that the view of men as buffoons who it’s perfectly fine to degrade and smack around exists outside of poorly-written sitcoms.

Logical Dad

September 25th, 2012
8:27 pm

Prof, I wonder what a forensics investigator would find if he searched this school administrator’s home computer? Any adult male who beats a female high school student to a bruising is definitely worthy of investigation.

Monica

September 25th, 2012
8:55 pm

Funny how no one asks or cares what the girls did wrong in the first place. God forbid they be punished; I’m sure it was not a minor offense. But let’s not focus on the misbehaving teenagers!!!

Logical Dad

September 25th, 2012
9:11 pm

Good question, Monica. Two students were involved in one of the cases. One student copied the class notes of the other. The student that took the notes properly did not know the other student copied her notes, however, that did not matter to this “administrator.” He suspended both stiudents. The student who took the notes properly and did not give consent for her notes to be copied, decided she did not need to miss two days of school, so she opted for a beating in order to resume her classwork. She was beaten to bruises by a male teacher as “punishment” for having her notes stolen – in clear violation of school policy. Yep. On the greased skid to prison, according to Mountain Man. Any response? I doubt it.

Logical Dad

September 25th, 2012
9:26 pm

Oh, and Monica, the student that copied the notes? Not beaten. I await your response.

Big Mama

September 25th, 2012
9:46 pm

I think it’s high time to eliminate corporal punishment. It has been a while since I was in elementary school (started in 1976) but I can still remember the class sitting in horror listening to our classmates in the hall begging the teacher not to paddle them or to stop paddling them. Oddly enough, it was almost always boys, and almost always boys with what we consider developmental issues today. Instead of providing the assistance these children needed, they were beaten and humiliated. The sole paddling I received was in 7th grade from a male teacher who took great joy in paddling the girls. On the day in question, he decided the girls were talking too much (we weren’t) lined us up in front of the classroom and paddled us. It was obvious even to a bunch of 12 yr olds that he really enjoyed it.

[...] School District in Texas created a policy allowing male employees to paddle female students.  Many parents are outraged!  [...]

Logical Dad

September 25th, 2012
10:07 pm

Big Mama, you must be a EEEEEvil, libr’l, Jesus-hatin’ libr’l. Welcome to the land of intelligent, educated, normal Americans. We’re awfully glad to have you.

thebob.bob

September 25th, 2012
10:25 pm

What’s the problem?? This is Texas. The Bible says, beat kids when they do something wrong. In Texas the Bible is public policy. You would expect no less from the backward State of Texas.

Pink

September 25th, 2012
11:29 pm

Just another brick in the wall. Between the bullying jocks and bullying teachers, schools cause psychological damage that lasts a lifetime. I’m just so glad I’m not in school anymore. I graduated in 1983 and I haven’t been to any of the reunions. If I never see any of those people, it will be too soon.

sofia mogliazzi

September 26th, 2012
12:44 pm

Enter your comments hereI think the real question of the policy on Texas paddling is where exactly do we draw the line ? Are young students suffering bruises and punishment from faculty members for offenses as meager as being late, chewing gum, or speaking in a sarcastic tone ? As young people we make mistakes and to be slapped across the ass for every roll of the eyes is, in my opinion, absurd. One must also consider the message this sends to young adolescent men that if a woman gets out of line, give her a swat and she’ll straighten up. Not to mention if these male superiors get a kick out of spanking little girls…

http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2012/09/school-in-texas-now-allows-teachers-to-paddle-children-of-opposite-sex-parents-pass-off-parenting-to-teachers/

Mary Ann

September 26th, 2012
1:32 pm

Thanks for the context, Logical Dad. As a victim of the same kind of cheating when I was in high school (another student stole and copied my assignment without my permission, but fortunately my teacher believed me), this makes me infuriated. What kind of parent gives such a phenomenally stupid authority permission to assault their children? Ugh!

Dr. Monica Henson

September 26th, 2012
2:00 pm

Nothing that happens in Texas education surprises me anymore. NOTHING.

I’m with Maureen. Paddling a student of either gender is a colossal waste of time.

By the time a child reaches school age, there are far more effective ways to get their attention and redirect their behavior than hitting them with a piece of wood.

Ole Guy

September 26th, 2012
2:09 pm

Dad, I don’t know if you simply have difficulty reading AND absorbing any but the simplest of the “see Spot run” lierature or what. No one likes the social chaos, much less the interruption of the class flow due to the necessity of having to regain class control through a good ole fashioned paddling. While some of the stories I read here border on nothing short of sick, it cannot be argued that the quant concept of teachers actually having sole control of all class activity is, to put it as plainly as possible, lost. While we discuss, complain, and comiserate over the multitude of educational shortcomings, no one can dispute the fact that all these issues share common roots in the control of student behavior and deportment. Anyone over the ages of fiftyish may recall periods of time when, perhaps, one kid or a group of boneheads, decided to behave in a manner not at all conducive to the purpos of the school house (to refresh the fading memories of those who may be displaying that deer-in-the-headlights reaction, that purpose is NOT entertainment, babysitting, or the forum for doing whatever moves one’s spirit).

While I sometimes have difficulty remembering what I had for breakfast, I recall, vividly and with some fondness-in-hindsight, the last-resort methodologies my teachers employed in regaining that element of class control. Was it pleasant? No frequin way…did those methodologies leave long-lasting psycic scaring? Absolutely not. Referencing a long-forgotten quote, “If it don’t kill ya, it’ll make ya stronger”.

A crucial element sadly missing within the educational community is pride…pride of both students and “educational delivery professionals”; the regaining of that pride can only begin to occur when there is absolute control within the schools. Like taking foul-tasting medication, it’s not very pleasant. If you can come up with an alternate means of achieving this goal, I am sure your input would be extremely valued.