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Corporal Punishment

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How do you choose to discipline your child? Time out, taking away privileges, or spanking? One Texas Representative wants to protect parents who decide corporal punishment is the best way to keep their kids in line.

To spank or not to spank. That's the question many parents are asking themselves these days. Parents who spank their kids in public may get disapproving looks, but State Representative Harold Dutton of Houston wants to make sure they won't be getting in trouble with the law for child abuse.

Dutton's proposed House Bill 383 simply states that a parent or guardian of a child has the right to use corporal punishment as a reasonable discipline of the child. Some parents like the idea.

" I do believe that's a good idea because people will try to get you in trouble," said Brenham resident, Tammy Johnson.

Several school districts across the state still give parents the option of corporal punishment in schools, which would be paddling. Brenham is one of them. .

" In a community like Brenham and a lot of other smaller communities, I think corporal punishment is effective. I think it is a great deterrent for a lot of students," said Brenham ISD Assistant Superintendent, Jim Bruce.

Director of student services, Jon Forsythe, has been an educator for 30 years. He strongly believes corporal punishment works for some.

" I think being able to use a paddle for a student is just another tool. Basically in my 8 years as principal in Brenham, we are kind of limited to discipline. We have to be creative. Discipline is given to change an unacceptable behavior," said Forsythe.
School officials say many parents in Brenham are o.k. with letting schools paddle their students if necessary, while others say no.

" No. I don't because I would rather bring my kids home and discipline them myself. I wouldn't want anybody else to do that," said Johnson.

Brenham's school district isn't the only one in the Brazos Valley that uses corporal punishment. Other school district's include Huntsville, Madisonville, Somerville, Calvert, Caldwell, and Mumford.

Most school district's say corporal punishment is not used very often, but school officials say they are glad to have another option when it comes to discipline.