TISD Votes On Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment is used as disciplinary action on roughly half of Tyler ISD campuses.

Tonight, the school board will vote on a policy change.

The current policy requires parents to notify the school only if they do not want their children subjected to corporal punishment. All other students could be spanked at school.

The proposed policy would require parents to make a 'yes' or 'no' decision about whether they want their children subjected to corporal punishment.

Although school board President 'Andy Bergfeld' says he's confident the measure will pass, some school board members feel spanking does not have a place in public schools...period.

Parents are divided on whether their children should be spanked in public school as well.

Dilan Duplessis has children at Birdwell Elementary.

"I just don't feel that it's appropriate to spank a child. If it's a behavior problem or whatever. I feel the school should take that up with the parents, and let the parents do whatever chastisement that's going to be done to the kids."

Sue Meyers is the mother of a Robert E. Lee student.

"I feel like if they're acting up at school, then there needs to be punishment. And if we went back to the way that I was brought up in the seventies, I don't think we'd have as many people in the jails."

Tonight, TISD will vote to change the current policy.

Some school board members say it's a step in the right direction, but say they won't be happy until there is a complete ban on corporal punishment.

Michelle Carr is one such member.  She says, "Schools are the only government institution that is sanctioned to perform corporal punishment. You can't do it in a prison. You can't do it in a juvenile detention center. You can't do it in the military. Can't do it in a mental hospital, but we have corporal punishment in our schools."

Board president Andy Bergfeld says the administration's new policy is a compromise for both sides of the argument. He says it gives parents freedom to decide if corporal punishment is in the best interest of their child. And if they decide it's not...

"I say check the box that says you won't allow it. You have the option to opt out of it. Beyond that, you're legislating how other people should feel about their own kids."

If the measure passes, it would also require parents to be contacted before disciplinary action is taken.