Texas has 2nd largest number of school spankings in U.S.

school spanking in Texas

While most public school districts in the U.S. have done away with corporal punishment, Texas ranks second to Mississippi in paddlings, according to a report from Education Week.

The data from school year 2015-2016 shows a drop of eight percent from the previous year, but the same number of schools — about 4,000 — continue to keep spanking on the disciplinary menu.

The district with the most incidents in Texas is an elementary school in City View ISD in Wichita Falls, followed by the high school in Floydada ISD in West Texas, enrollment: 760.

Most of the schools with spanking are in smaller districts in rural areas. Although, one school in Dallas — the AW Brown Leadership Academies Charter School, intermediate campus in South Dallas — is on the list.

Several other Dallas charters, including both Nova Academies’ campuses, made the list as well. Districts located around Beaumont and Waco both had schools listed as using paddling in 2015-2016.

From the report:

“The number of students receiving physical discipline in school dropped from 1 out of every 125 students in 2000 to 1 out of every 500 students in 2015-16.”  “That steady long-term decline seems to be losing steam, however. From 2013-14 to 2015-16, the number of students without disabilities receiving corporal punishment dropped by 11 percent, compared to drops of between 17 percent to 36 percent every other year. (The 8 percent decline cited above includes students in special education.) And in more than 40 percent of schools that used physical punishment, at least some students were paddled or spanked more than once.”

As recently as 2016, 21 states still allowed spanking as a punishment, although the new data indicates a higher percentage of charter schools in Texas are employing the practice, at least in more urban areas.

In 2011, Texas lawmakers passed a measure authorizing public school educators to use corporal punishment “unless the student’s parent or guardian…has previously provided a written, signed statement prohibiting the use of corporal punishment as a method of student discipline.”

According to an academic report from the University of Texas, the U.S. is one of two westernized countries that allow paddling.

The debate to allow the practice is an old one, and when lawmakers in New Jersey tried to pass a measure allowing it, the bill was defeated by a margin of 4-1 in 1894. The state has the longest prohibition on spanking in the U.S, dating back to 1867.

State Rep. Alma Allen, (D-Houston) introduced a measure in 2015 that would ban paddling in Texas. The bill died in committee.

Steve Miller can be reached at [email protected].


    • We need more power in the classroom. Kids are fearless . . . what in the world good does time out do? Or pulling recess? At least Texas is trying for all the good it does . . .

    • Gael Gregory Mounger It’s the parents. It’s always the parents.
      I have never taught school but I taught my customers employees how to operate complicated manufacturing equipment. And yes. Many of these adults acted out, were smart asses.
      I believe our schools are underfunded and have become way to political to function properly.
      Teachers are striking all over the nation to increase their pay and increase school budgets. Class sizes are too big.
      While I was in college my fellow students ate and slept in class.
      Schools hit kids while I was school age. My gym teacher in the 7th grade gave each person that forgot to return their signed report card licks. If you forgot the next day you got 2 licks.
      Is that what you want. To get hit because you forgot to return your signed report card.
      Just like at work there are other ways to punish kids besides hitting them.
      When my child brought home a letter asking for my ok to hit my child I told them to never touch my child.
      He was a Navy Dr now in private practice and accomplished this without ever getting hit.

    • I went to school in four different states and never got “licks”. I’ve said in almost every comment that I think there are better ways of dealing with students. But teachers hands are tied, administrators hands are tied. Parents sue even when the teacher is pulling a fighting kid off another. I don’t have a solution. I just think the knee-jerk reaction of those calling “licks” a beating are being melodramatic.

  1. I see some people saying if a kid doesnt show respect spank them. That ok if its parents but when a child is forced to respect all adults horrible things can happen. We needs kids that know who to respect and who not to respect. But that takes actual parenting, teaching by example and letting kids make mistakes and learn some things on their own. People just spank their kids for any little reason and that teaches one to be subservient. So no, the school wont spank my kids. I want my kids to stand up to an authoritarian governing body, not bow to it.

    • Alan Clenney , again with your silly notion that a paddling is “beating”.
      Two or three swats in the rear end with a flat paddle is not now and never has been “beating”. Calm down. Relax. Breathe. I went through school in Texas, as did my youngest kids. No one was ever paddled. And had ANY kid been “beaten”, every parent in the school would have been vocal in their displeasure at that, and the teacher/principal fired immediately.

  2. If the teachers and administrator’s had more ways to discipline there may not be so much trouble with the problem kids. I worked in the schools for nineteen years and when there is one kid that takes all the teachers attention it is not fair to the rest of the kids. If the kid knew that he would be spanked he may not cause so much problems. We had one year that ten boys could not go out to recess without getting in trouble. Kids throwing things in the classroom.

    • Alan Clenney , teachers don’t administer a paddling. They can’t just slap or spank a kid. Don’t get all silly with the idea of teachers going around punching or slapping kids.

      That said, it is not the best way to punish kids who feel no shame or whose parents aren’t standing with the schools.

  3. Anyone at a school touches my kid, I will have their ass in a hat. It is not their job to inflict corporal punishment, it’s mine, if I choose to do so.

  4. A child has to feel shame in order for a school paddling to work. Most kids have no shame. Parents have to stand behind the schools in order for paddling to work. They don’t. So I’m not sure paddling is a deterrent.


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