Bill gives parents more power to say no to corporal punishment

Texas schools are still allowed to spank school children, but there's a bill in the legislature that says no spanking over parents wishes.

The bill wouldn't outlaw the paddle, but it would regulate corporal punishment in schools giving more power to parents to just say no.

It's existed since pre-colonial times.

"When a kid did something they weren't supposed to, if they weren't attentive, the monitors popped them with that cane," said Jerry Lowe, with the department of education leadership at University of Texas-Pan American.

It's a swat to discipline students when they get out of line.

"Now a days, it sounds kind of harsh," said Lowe.

It's still legal in some states and still on the books in districts across Texas.

"We've been doing it for forever in our country," he said.

State law does not provide guidelines for corporal punishment policies.

Each district decides whether to allow it as an option for disciplining students, but that could change.

House Bill 359 would prohibit corporal punishment for those students whose parents oppose paddling.

"That's not a good way for schools to discipline kids," said 19-year-old Omar Barbosa. "Discipline should be something between a parent and child."

The McAllen school district did away with corporal punishment in the 90's.

Barbosa went to McAllen High and said he's thankful there was no paddling done there.

"Students would not respect school officials if they were hit by them," said Barbosa.

Many parents agree.

They said schools shouldn't be allowed to paddle their kids.

Just discipline in another way," said mother Sylvia Gonzales.

Gonzales said she'd rather schools put her 14 year old in suspension or have him pick up garbage than swat him with a paddle, and she said she's glad the bill will allow parents to voice their wishes when it comes to swatting their kid.

There are a few districts in Rio Grande Valley that have corporal punishment still on the books, but they don't all enforce it.

To see where you can find out if your district allows corporal punishment, head to the district's website, click on school board and then school board policies.

There should be a list of policies there or a database where you can search corporal punishment.