On Tuesday one school district in Texas has brought back corporal punishment. Now students who misbehave in class will be paddled until they get better grades. Although there is little evidence that corporal punishment helps students focus better or improve their test scores, the Three Rivers Independent School board of trustees in south Texas think it will help. They are now shipping paddles to their teachers to be used as corporal punishment when students misbehave. And the teachers really need the device to control their students.
The Texas Classroom Teachers Association (TCTA) defines corporal punishment as “deliberate infliction of physical pain by hitting, paddling, spanking, slapping or any other physical force used as a means of discipline.” The school district hopes that paddling will help improve classroom behavior so students can retain more information and improve the district’s falling test scores.
Although many parents are eager to get their kids signed up for the more aggressive in-school disciplinary action, parents are given the opportunity to opt in or opt out. They need to provide both written and verbal assent if they want their children paddled in the classroom. And many parents are signing up.
When parents approve the school’s disciplinary measure, the students “will receive one paddling for his or her infraction when they misbehave at school.”
The school district wants to give parents the opportunity to have their children paddled in class. They’re not forcing them to do it.
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