Texas City Brings Back Paddling As Congresswoman Seeks National Ban

The citizens of Temple, Texas have reinstituted corporal punishment for students in the form of paddling for everything from skipping classes to wearing inappropriate clothing. In the meantime, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), has stated her intention to pass legislation banning the practice — a proposal that could raise some serious constitutional issues.

Texas is already the paddling leader nationwide — one-fourth of students who received paddling in 2006 were in the Lone Star state.

Various states still allow for paddling and in 2006 there were an estimated 225,000 students who received corporal punishment. However, thirty states outlaw paddling, which is strongly opposed by educational and child development experts.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) held a hearing this week on banning paddling. This could raise another federalism issue and highlights the implications of the broad claim of federal authority contained in the health care legisation, here.

While I have not seen the current version of the bill, it could raise many of the same problems that led to the Supreme Court striking down laws in Lucas and Morrison. United States v. Alfonso Lopez, Jr., , 514 U.S. 549 (1995), is particularly interesting in this context. There the Court struck down the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 (the “Act”), 18 U.S.C. § 922(q) as intruding into state power.

For the full story, click here.

41 thoughts on “Texas City Brings Back Paddling As Congresswoman Seeks National Ban”

  1. Compulsory education at gunpoint by the state is not conducive to the best interests of a free people in pursuit of greater liberty and even enlightenment.

    And, in my opinion, you do not love your children enough if you send them to state schools.

    That said, I know of a private school that permits paddling of children.

    The parents are called in to do it.

  2. Ah, that old chestnut ishobo.

    The point is that children are not mature, reasoning adults, so cannot always be handled in the same way. There are many things that we would not expect grown adults to be subjected to, such as having to go to bed at a certain time.

    As for Alans quite disgusting attempt to associate normal people who smack their kids as part of a balanced and responsible upbringing with torturers and executioners, such comments I treat with the utter contempt that they deserve.

    An earlier poster tells me that smacking is now banned in 100 countries. Let me tell you a little of some of those countries that I am familiar with.

    France and other southern european nations have banned smacking. Parents in these countries have chosen to simply ignore this law and so have the Police.

    In Norway the situation is much darker, (I have Norwegian in-laws) where parents who smack (even just once) have all their kids taken from them and are not allowed contact until the children are aged 18. They still smack their kids in the home, but under a veil of secrecy. When a child is smacked, the parent has to make them aware of this. “Is our treatment of you really so bad that you should be taken away from us?” This is no way for a normal and good family to have to behave.

    New Zealand. Passed a law banning all smacking. A vote was forced on the government by the elecotorate to have the law overturned. Eighty percent voted for an end to the smacking ban. The governments response was that the result of the vote showed that the ban was both well supported and working! If double think and mental gymnastics were olympic sports, the government of New Zealand would win every time.

    Philippines. Smacking legal in schools. Although not customary to smack someone elses child – procedure is to notify the mis-behaving childs family and they will (and do) the punishing. Happiest, most polite and well behaved kids I have ever seen. Most pleasant adults also. Again, I have Philippine in-laws.

    UK? Just don’t get me started. You would not want to live here as a parent anymore.

    So be careful what you wish for.

  3. I find it interesting that people can defend hitting children but accept domestic violence laws (which should cover children).

  4. Raising responsible adults has nothing to do what so ever with paddling them as children. Those who make this claim are missing the real reason that they grew up as such following a childhood that included corpral punishment. Whatever discipline is used to manage inappropriate behaviour in children it will only be effective if done consistently. When adults are consistent in their discipline of children the child learns very quickly what the rules are and what the consequences are if those rules are violated. With this in mind, the consequence does not need to be one of violence against a children, in fact I have never quite understood why any parent would want to cause or allow their child to be hurt by others in any way.
    Take for example the child who takes a tantrum in a store when a parent says ” no ” to a desired toy. I have witnessed parents who yell, threaten and eventually hit that child as consequence to their behaviour. Typically what happens in this scenerio is that the child responds with even more tantruming behaviour. As youngsters, my children learned very quickly what the consequence would be to that type of behaviour…..2 warnings to stop the behaviour and if those warnings were tested…we left the store, period. I would literally leave a cart full of groceries sitting in the middle of an aisle if either child engaged in tantrum behaviour in a store and refused to stop after warning number 2. For the record, I only actually had to leave that cart on 2 occasions.
    I have also learned that consistent response generalizes across the board with kids. Eariler this week, my youngest son informed me that a lot of the kids in his classroom dislike their teacher because ” he is fair “. When I asked him what that meant my 13 year old son explained it like this……” Mr ‘teacher’ has rules in his classroom, everyone knows the rules, and they also know that if we break any of the rules we don’t get to go outside for recess. I like recess so I don’t break the rules, that makes sense to me “. Why does my son have insight that others in his peer group do not….simple, because that’s exactly how he was raised.
    Some may argue that he is the exception because he has had that type of consistency since day 1 which ,although is certainly helpful, it is not necessarily the case. Educational systems have become businesses with teachers who refuse to give extra time ( for example a 15 minute recess period ) and administrators who refuse to compensate for extra time given in order to instill effective consequences. I grew up in a time when corpral punishment of any kind was not alloewed in the schools, however we all knew that if we misbehaved we would have something ” fun ” taken away from us be it recess, art time, gym time, or a scheduled field trip. We knew the rules, and we knew that our teachers would administer consequence if we did not follow the rules and we had quiet classrooms where work was being done and we learned, as all children should. Unfortunately there are far too many teachers who are unwilling or unable to put this kind of time into managing behavioural issues in the classroom, and look for something easier but ultimately far less effective.

  5. Lynchings, execution, torture, corporal punishment. I see similarities on all of these acts, especially in emotional reactions that come from people who support them. They often express pleasure and delight. “That nigger had it coming!” “Those rag heads got theirs!” “That’ll teach those kids!” The act itself–the lynching, the execution, the torture, the beating–it gives them pleasure. They relish in it and are eager to do it again. Is it really about correcting “bad behavior”? Or is it that some folks just get their jollies out of abusing others? The satisfaction of bringing down the strap, hearing the child wince or cry, knowing that you are in control, you have the power, and you just “taught them a lesson”?

    It is safe to say that if people such as “Maaarrghk” and others in Texas did not enjoy handing down corporal punishment then they would not be in favor of it. But the simple fact is that they do enjoy it out, and that is why they are in favor of it. Its not about punishment or correction–its about some people getting their own pleasure by demonstrating power over others, just as it has been done to them at one time. Its not surprising that the big advocates of execution, torture and corporal punishment are the former slave states, where this sort of physical control over others used to be their way of life, and continues in one form or another to this day.

  6. Maaarrghk!:

    “I had my fair share of thick ears as a kid by Parents, …

    We have all grown up to be responsible, well behaved members of society.”


    Since you refuse to even acknowledge your recklessly and vociferously asserted statement that not a “shred” of evidence refutes your point after being shown the evidence, it appears to me your ears are still quite thick and your assertion of being “responsible” likewise is subject to some doubt.

  7. OK I’ll figure.

    Kid is naughty. Kid gets a smack. Kid behaves. So simple even a republican understands it.

    Worked for me and has worked for everyone I have ever met except for just one guy. He was as hard as nails, so his Parents had to send him to his room just like Chris. A far worse punishment. At least I could go back to my play after a few tears.

    As for the “violence begets violence” arguement. Total nonsense as we are talking about about punishment not brutality and smacking a naughty chiuld is not an act of brutality, it is an act of correction.

    I had my fair share of thick ears as a kid by Parents, Teachers and responsible strangers who caught me mis-behaving and I have not grown up to be a violent person, neither have any of my schoolmates who were treated in exactly the same way. We have all grown up to be responsible, well behaved members of society.

  8. So Texazz is the leader in corporal punishment and still we get secessionists and traitors from them? Go figure..

  9. Parents disciplining their child is one thing. Some pervert getting their kicks at school with a paddle is something else. There are an infinite number of other, much more appropriate forms of punishment and displine in a public school.

    As far as I’m concerned, if you are going to hit a child, you better be of VERY HIGH moral character yourself. I would encourage any parent who’s child is hit by a school official to investigate their moral character for themselves. Hire a private investigator to look into the background of the individual involved to see if there are any embarrassing moral infractions that can be publicized in and around the school. Never make anything up, just tell the truth. And don’t stop telling the truth about them until they couldn’t get hired at a convenience store and most of their family has stopped talking to them.

    Lastly, for anyone who thinks there are no psychological effects of hitting defenseless children, I pray you are never an elderly person living in a nursing home where a victim of childhood violence works. For if you have a little “accident” in your bed, they know VERY WELL how to discipline you. Corporal punishment doesn’t seem so grand when you’re NOT in control, huh?

  10. Growing up my father had little patience for acting out, but never once was I hit. I think there are much better forms of punishment than striking a child. My father would ground me for a couple weeks to my room and the only thing I was allowed to do was read. Needless to say after a couple of weeks in my room a whippin didn’t sound too bad. It also made me think twice about getting involved in nonsense.

  11. in 8th grade manual arts class the coach used a planed down baseball bat as a paddle. i held his personal record of 18 in one year. and no it didn’t do much good. maybe if he’d had a tazer

  12. Maaarrghk!

    “I stress once again that there is not one shred of evidence to suggest that reasonable corporal punishment does not work or causes harm. There is only opinion.”


    Ten seconds of research revealed this “shred.” Does credibility mean nothing to you? Your parents should have explained that once lost, it’s hard to retrieve. Sometimes a “thick ear” turns into a thick skull.

    Ten Things We Know About Corporal Punishment:


    Poor children, minorities, children with disabilities and boys are hit more frequently in schools, sometimes at 2-5 times the rate of other children.

    Corporal punishment has been abolished in more than 100 nations of the world.

    Corporal punishment teaches children that violence is a way to solve problems. Research shows that this message is taught to those who inflict pain, those who receive it, and those who witness it.

    Corporal punishment of children is related to decreased internalization of moral rules, increased aggression, more antisocial behavior, increased criminality, decreased mental health outcomes, increased adult abusive behaviors, and increased risk of being victimized by abusive relationships in adulthood.

    School violence has not increased since paddling use has declined. Violent crime in schools has declined dramatically since 1994. The annual rate of serious violent crime in 2003 (6 per 1,000 students) was less than half of the rate in 1994.

    Academic achievement is a risk factor in the use of corporal punishment of children.

    Corporal punishment reinforces physical aggression as an acceptable and effective means of eliminating unwanted behavior in our society.

    Significantly more school shooting deaths were found in states allowing school corporal punishment than those who do not.

    There is overwhelming evidence that harsh interventions are damaging to children, both emotionally and physically. The effects of such trauma may be compounded when a child has preexisting learning difficulties. When schools respond to these challenges using harsh methods, children can be further traumatized.

    School corporal punishment is more widely used in states in the south and southwest and in rural districts rather than urban and suburban districts.

    1. U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, Surveys from 1976-2003, Center for Effective Discipline.
    2. The Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, UK, 2007.
    3. Eron, Walder & Lefkowitz, 1971; Hyman & Snook, 1999; Lahey, Moffit & Caspi, 2003, Reid, Patterson & Snyder, 2002.
    4. Meta-Analysis of 88 corporal punishment studies (Gershoff, E.T. 2002).
    5. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2005.
    6. Study of 8,000 U.S. families, (Straus, M.A. and Yodanis, CL, 1994.) 78% of paddling states achieved below the national average at the fourth grade level in reading. 75% of the paddling states achieved below the national average in eighth grade level reading (Center for Effective Discipline, 2004). Sixty-seven percent of Ohio paddling schools fell in the lowest 25% of schools on state school report cards in the 99-00 school year (Center for Effective Discipline, 2001).
    7. Position paper opposing school corporal punishment by the Society for Adolescent Medicine (Greydanus, DE. et al, 2003).
    8. D. Arcus, 2002.
    9. Mohr, WK and Anderson, J.A. 2002.
    10. Center for Effective Discipline, 2007.

    Prepared by: Center for Effective Discipline, Columbus,OH 5-07

  13. This is from a parent that did not use physical punishment on his own daughter, but did teach her right from wrong.

    I would’ve loved for any perverted teacher, sexually abhorrent administrator, full of shit commenter, or anyone else that thought they had balls to have attempted to use a paddle on her.

    For anyone to think it is alright for some stranger (teachers, cops, neighbors) to abuse their child, you need to have the tar taken outta your ass ASAP.

  14. Maaarrghk!

    “I stress once again that there is not one shred of evidence to suggest that reasonable corporal punishment does not work or causes harm.”

    Have you done exhaustive research on the subject?
    Is there “one shred of evidence” that shows that corporal may be detrimental to children?

    People who believe that paddling or spanking children is not the most effective way to deal with them when they misbehave are not “nutters.” We are thoughtful people who have respect for children. We prefer to address such problems in other “non-physical” ways.

  15. Steve Wright.

    You are absolutely correct Sir.

    The simple fact of the matter is that corporal punishment and the threat of works as an effective tool for making naughty children both behave and see the error of their ways. It has worked for the entire length of human history.

    Comments concerning “beatings” given by “untrained” people are simply hilarious. They are not beatings. Being punched and kicked to the floor and getting your teeth knocked out and ribs broken is a beating. A few whacks on the backside or a clip around the ear for a naughty child is neither a beating nor an assault.

    Neither my parents or Teachers were “trained” to give me a thick ear, but it still worked. I knew that I had done wrong and behaved myself.

    I stress once again that there is not one shred of evidence to suggest that reasonable corporal punishment does not work or causes harm. There is only opinion.

    Yet we have the whole of human history to prove the case against these anti-smacking nutters that are ruining our societies by suggesting to people from an early age that they should not be punished.

  16. I have a hard time seeing how this doesn’t constitute assault/battery (if anyone would be willing to explain this difference to this non-legal scholar, I’d be appreciative).

    That being said, most of the kids I went to school with had a rebellious streak. I remember getting backhanded by my father as a child for acting up in public, and I hit him right back. They quickly learned that physical punishment only further entrenched my attitude and made it worse. I know of several kids from abusive households with the same mentality, and it caused them to act out at school. I shudder to think of a child with development issues due to abusive parents being further abused at school.

    I can’t imagine any positive impact this policy would have on the students. At worst it just seems like an excuse for teachers to take out their frustrations on unruly students instead of doing their job and resolving the issue.

  17. “Former New York Rep. Eric Massa wrote a $40,000 check to his chief of staff Joe Racalto — the day before his resignation. Racalto has accused Massa of sexual harassment.”

    Look out Texas you may have someone interested in moving there.
    What do you say ex congressman?

  18. do you people honestly think the kids will let the teachers do thats. there are alot of gangs and crap and if a teacher does that i guarantee many teachers will be injured

  19. I thought we were looking ahead to the future instead of looking to the past.. just tase them lil’ mf’ers already, or better yet, lock ’em up with a catholic priest for some 30 minutes.

    See if many will still try skipping a class then.

  20. I could not agree more with the responses. It is not intended to be a first resort. It has been a last resort method. We just do not think that this “Tool” should be taken away by another federal mandate. Parents that do not wish to have their child follow the rules are not spanked. They are sent home, no if and or buts.

    I do not agree that spanking a child is the same as beating them, nor that it leads to more violence. Usually this is a one time cure and the threat of it usually allows the teacher to spend more time teaching and the other children learning.

    How much valuable class time is taken away from the children whose parents send them to school to learn. If a parent opts out, that a choice.

    Right now some parents have opted out of Sex Ed. That again is their choice. This is one class that Boys are taught at one time and girls are taught at another time. We had a lot of parents that threaten all sorts of action against the teachers and administration for this decision.

    I am sorry but I am new to this.

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