The Three Rivers school district in Texas is now allowing teachers to hit misbehaving students with wooden paddles.
Earlier this week, administrators at both schools in the district unanimously decided to lift the ban on corporal punishment. This affects around 700 students who will have to submit written consent — or refusal — from their legal guardians at the beginning of the school year in the fall.
Texas is one of 15 states which allow corporal punishment against students; districts within these states then decide whether to adopt the measures at their schools.
Corporal punishment has a very poor reputation. Children who are hit often suffer physical and mental harm. After being humiliated in front of their fellow students, these children can go on to have long-term problems as adults. Children subjected to this form of punishment often become more aggressive in nature and are more prone to developing problems with addiction, depression and other mental illnesses later in life.
School administrators hope that the reintroduction of paddling will lead to improved discipline in classrooms. Students are to be punished in this way when they’re disobedient or fail to follow school rules. Teachers are responsible for issuing the punishment and doing the paddling.