Bill Requiring Schools to Get Parents' Permission Before Spanking Kids Passes Texas House

Filed under: In The News


Some 40 Texas school districts -- including Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington -- already ban paddling. Credit: Getty Images

Oh, c'mon on, is this Texas or Mister Rogers' Neighborhood?

A bill before the Texas Legislature would require school authorities to get parents' permission taking the ol' "board of education" to their children's backsides.

Time was in Texas, you could shoot a child down like a dog in the street for chewing gum, and all you had to do was offer the parents a nice piece of pecan pie as punishment. If you were feeling sociable, that is.

Then again, those could just be tall tales told by nostalgic Texans.

But there's no doubt Texas may be coming an easier place for kids to park their cabooses. The Dallas Morning News reports the bill to get parents' permission before padding passed the Texas House May 12.

The bill was shot down (no, not literally) by legislators the day before, but was later approved 87-56 after what the Morning News says was an "emotional" debate on the floor of the House.

Some 40 Texas school districts -- including Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington -- already ban paddling. It's mostly a rural thing, the Morning News reports. In 2006-2007 (the freshest stats available, according to the newspaper), almost 50,000 young Texans were paddled.

That makes Texas the biggest paddler in the country, and State Rep. Alma Allen, D-Houston, is not proud of that distinction.

Allen wrote the bill and tells the Morning News it boils down to a "parental rights" issue. Yeah, well, school officials have some rights, too, critics argue. One of them is the right to paddle an unruly young owl-hoot into next Tuesday without playing Mother May I.

"We are taking away every tool for teachers to maintain discipline in their classrooms," State Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, argued during the debate. He said behavioral problems in the classroom are teachers' No. 1 headache.

Really? Their No. 1 headache? You would think the fact that Texas legislators are cutting $5 billion from public schools and laying off as many as 100,000 teachers might make a few educators reach for the aspirin bottle as well.

Teachers may want to paddle some butts raw at this point. However, those butts may not belong to students.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.