Of the 20 states that legally employ corporal punishment, Texas hits the most students every year. Nearly 50,000 children in Texas were hit - legally - at school during the 2005-2006 school year.
HB 916, a bill sponsored by Texas Rep. Alma Allen, would ban corporal punishment in the state of Texas. Not only would ending the practice of paddling by teachers and principals decrease violence against teachers and drop-out rates; it would also increase academic performance.
We know that corporal punishment is harming our education system and putting us at a disadvantage compared to the rest of the world. It’s time to end this practice. If a state like Texas, where corporal punishment is a respected tradition, can be encouraged to rid itself of this awful practice then the rest of the states will fall like dominoes.
Please sign this petition, endorsed by the National Youth Rights Association, The Hitting Stops Here and the Coalition Against School Paddling, and encourage Texas lawmakers to sign HB 916 and get rid of the institutionalized beating of schoolchildren.
Texas reported 50,000 cases of corporal punishment in their most recent Department of Education survey.
Reporting is not mandatory or structured; when reports are made, a child who received 40 beatings in a single school year may have all of them counted as one instance. Children of color and those with disabilities experience corporal punishment at higher disproportionate rates.
School corporal punishment is usually executed in the form of “paddling” by striking students with a wooden paddle on their buttocks or legs, which can result in abrasions, hematoma, severe muscle injury, permanent spine and vertebrae damage, whiplash, life-threatening hemorrhages and other complications that may require hospitalization.
It is used in many instances for minor disciplinary infractions, such as being tardy or violating the dress code. National research shows students who have been subjected to corporal punishment can develop serious social disorders, violent tendencies and that it can lead to lower test scores and criminal behavior.
Comprehensive scientific evidence of harm caused by corporal punishment to school-age children has been available for more than 60 years. According to the American Medical Association, “Infliction of pain or discomfort, however minor, is not a desirable method of communicating with children.”
Please vote in favor of HB 916 and end corporal punishment in Texas schools.