Last August I noted in this column the Dallas Morning News story about Everman, Texas, where the local school district not only allows paddling — corporal punishment — but appears to endorse it as a key part of education.
Now comes a new legislature, and Texas State Rep. Alma Allen has filed a bill to ban corporal punishment, H. B. 379. To assuage those who argue that corporal punishment is necessary to maintain classroom discipline, the bill authorizes teachers and other school employees to use physical restraint to protect students from injury, and to get contraband.
Of course, this is the similar to the bill Dr. Allen introduced in the last session. It went nowhere, and without a dramatic change in tone in the state, this bill is likely to die in committee, too. But watch that space anyway.
Allen is a life-long educator representing District 131 in Houston. She holds an M.Ed from Texas Southern, and a D.Ed. from Houston. She retired as an administrator in the Houston Independent School District.
The full text of the bill is below the fold.
|H.B. No. 379|
|A BILL TO BE ENTITLED|
|relating to corporal punishment in public schools.|
|BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:|
|SECTION 1. Chapter 37, Education Code, is amended by adding|
|Subchapter Z to read as follows:|
|SUBCHAPTER Z. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS|
|RELATING TO DISCIPLINE|
|Sec. 37.901. CORPORAL PUNISHMENT. (a) In this section,|
|“corporal punishment” includes hitting, spanking, paddling, or|
|deliberately inflicting physical pain by any means on the whole or|
|any part of a student’s body as a penalty or punishment for the|
|student’s behavior on or off campus.|
|(b) A school district employee or a volunteer or independent|
|contractor of a district may not administer corporal punishment or|
|cause corporal punishment to be administered to a student.|
|(c) A school district employee or a volunteer or independent|
|contractor of a district may use reasonable and necessary physical|
|restraining techniques for the purpose of:|
|(1) preventing a student from injuring a person or|
|(2) self-defense; or|
|(3) obtaining from a student possession of an object|
|specified by Section 37.007(a)(1) or another dangerous object.|
|(d) Section 9.62, Penal Code, and Section 22.0511(a) do not|
|apply to an action of a school district employee or a volunteer or|
|independent contractor of a district that violates Subsection (b).|
|SECTION 2. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives|
|a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as|
|provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this|
|Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this|
|Act takes effect September 1, 2007|
Tip of the old scrub brush to TexasEd.