Response from Weldon Beckner, Professor of Educational Administration, Baylor University, Waco, TX
Email received February 29, 2000
I received your letter relative to the lady who moved to Texas and was concerned about the "paddling" policy at her daughter's high school. Unfortunately, this practice is still in effect in some school districts in Texas, although the type thing described seems more stupid than most. I learned early in my experience as a teacher and principal through my studies and my experience that corporal punishment was ineffective, and I've been teaching that for over thirty years in teacher preparation and administrator preparation programs. However, these practices seem to "die hard," especially in this part of the world. My suggestion to this parent and others with this type or any other concern is that they develop contacts with other parents who have similar concerns and ask for a meeting with the principal involved. Meeting individually is not likely to do much good. It might be even more effective for several parents to schedule separate meetings with the principal. Many times these practices are allowed by local school boards but it is left to individual schools to decide if they will have such policies. If satisfactory results are not obtained the next move would be to ask to meet with the superintendent. If he/she places the blame on the school board because of their policies or supports the practice, then pressure will have to be brought to bear on the board. I recommend that concerned parents ask for time to speak at the school board meeting and get supporters out for the meeting. Many times parent organizations (PTA, PTO, etc.) are effective in getting policies and practices like this changed. Law suits have not been very successful unless there is blatant and obvious abuse.

I applaud the efforts of your organization with this and other violence problems in our schools. Please keep up the good work.

Weldon Beckner
Professor of Educational Administration
Baylor University
Waco, TX

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