Paddling on hold in DISD; School board approves 2-month moratorium to study discipline issue DALLAS: Paddling on hold in DISD; School board approves 2-month moratorium to study discipline issue
By Tawnell Hobbs,
Dallas Morning News, December 17, 2004


The Dallas school board banned paddling in schools at Thursday night's meeting at least temporarily.

Trustees voted to implement a two-month moratorium on corporal punishment to allow administrators to come up with a proposal to ban paddling and provide alternatives to discipline students. Such a proposal would still require broad approval.

The paddle is idle in DISD, at least for now. Trustee Ron Price, who supports paddling, suggested the moratorium that took the place of a recommendation to immediately ban paddling in the district.

"This gives our administration the opportunity to go back and study these issues ... and bring forth a legitimate plan," he said.

The moratorium passed in a 6-2 vote. Trustees Hollis Brashear and Lew Blackburn abstained, and Joe May was absent.

The issue has split the board. Mr. Brashear, who supports paddling, accused his colleagues of not properly posting the corporal punishment item on the agenda. An attorney for the district disagreed.

The number of parents in the district who have signed forms allowing their children to be paddled has dwindled. As of last week, 453 parents had given consent, compared with 3,335 last year. [87% drop!]

Trustee Ken Zornes, who opposes corporal punishment, said it has had permanent harmful effects on children. He said even one child harmed is too many.

"How can we take that risk?" Mr. Zornes said.

E-mail tdhobbs@dallasnews.com


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