Child Injured, Mom Angry Over Corporal Punishment
By Donna McCollum
KTRE Television, April 29, 2004

Should schools be allowed to use corporal punishment against a child for misbehaving. Swats or pops, whatever you call them, are considered corporal punishment, and the practice is allowed under the law in Texas schools.

One Trinity County mother found the punishment more than she could bear when her 10 year old son came home black and blue.

When 10 year old Justin Causby stepped off a Groveton school bus on the fourth day of fifth grade there were tears in his eyes. Lynn Causby recalls the day. "and I said, 'What's wrong baby?' and he showed me what the coach had did to him and I just grabbed him and hugged him and fell to the floor and said 'Oh my God baby,' because it was horrible."

Justin was paddled after a classmate tattled about him saying a derogatory remark toward an elementary coach. Justin showed how he was made to stand holding a chair. "The coach made me stand like this and then he gave me three swats."

His mother has pictures of her son's buttocks with large bruises and redness. "He had these welts on him and these blood spots in his underwear and the big purple size bruise the size of a half a dollar. That's not a regular spanking."

A medical doctor documented that Justin's bruises were consistent with traumatic injury. Causby requested that her son never be hit again, but four days later Justin got into trouble for throwing a pencil. He received another pop on top of his already bruised bottom.

Causby said, "I was horrified. I didn't think he was safe there."

Causby doesn't excuse her son's behavior, but believes teachers were too excessive. "My son shouldn't have said what he did, but he also shouldn't have come home looking like he did either. When does corporal punishment stop and begin. This was a beating."

Causby is so upset over what happened that she now home schools Justin and is seeking legal action. "I'm not saying I would never spank him. If he need it, then yes, but there's a difference between a spanking and a beating."

If Justin gets in trouble now, he's told park the four wheeler. To him that's a pretty big deterrent to bad behavior.

Groveton Superintendent Jim Wise said that the district supports the use of corporal punishment. Wise contends that proper procedure was followed. He points out that a witness observed the paddling, and that the incident was handled properly.

Mrs. Causby did take the issue before the school board, but no action was taken.

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