Corporal Punishment Gets New Twist -
Policy Adjustment Gives Parents More Power|
Dallas Morning News, August 15, 2003
As students in Arlington, Dallas and Fort Worth head back to school, the corporal punishment controversy is pushed back into the spotlight, but Dallas schools report that they are leaving the decision to the parents.
When students misbehave, principals have always had the option of corporal punishment. But under a new policy, corporal punishment is only possible with parents' written permission.
It also mandates that corporal punishment must be administered while another staff person acts as an official witness.
"What we are saying to the principals is you can suspend the child, but when it comes to corporal punishment, you must get a written document signed by the parents to administer corporal punishment," Dallas School Board member Ron Price said. "So it protects the district and it gives parents the right of choice."
However, not all school board members agree with the policy.
Ken Zornes had been trying to abolish corporal punishment altogether when the board decided this week to include the parental permission clause.
""What do [students] learn from [corporal punishment] other than don't do it at that time," Zornes said. "But they do it again and don't learn anything from it, and there is research to show there are long term harmful effects that don't show up until years later."
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