Texas is One of Many States That Still Paddle Children in Public Schools

Data suggests public schools paddle boys, African-Americans and special needs children the most.

By Laura RiceOctober 7, 2016 5:19 pm

It might be a surprise some, but Texas is one of 19 states that allows corporal punishment in public schools to discipline students. Often, that means a teacher or administrator will strike a student for some alleged transgression. But a new study finds it isn’t always used the same way for different students. Elizabeth Gershoff, a researcher with the University of Texas at Austin, found corporal punishment is used disproportionately against boys, African-Americans and students with disabilities.

The findings come from a dataset collected by the U.S. Department of Education, which require all public schools in the country to send data on discipline practices. About 90,000 public school sent in data from around the nation.

So what, exactly does the corporal punishment entail?

“Corporal punishment in the schools usually involves paddling a child on their behind with a wooden paddle,” Gershoff says. “The wooden paddle is usually about 2 ft. long, 4 inches wide and a half-inch thick.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– Where Texas stands relative to other states on punishment

– Can Child Protective Services get involved?

– Texas’ opt-out law