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School CP - May 2015

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NBC logo (KAMR-TV NBC4), Amarillo, Texas, 5 May 2015

Corporal Punishment By the Numbers

TV segment on paddling

AMARILLO -- Corporal punishment is widely used in school districts in Texas.

Some districts use it more liberally than others.

In Amarillo ISD, corporal punishment is still used, but it's rare.

Stan Chatman, District Discipline Coordinator says, "It's not the punishment of choice. Very few schools in AISD use it but we still have corporal punishment as a policy so these schools can use corporal punishment if they so choose."

Chatman says swats are mostly used in elementary schools, and the student's parents must be called first, and principals can opt their schools out.

Of the more than 30,000 students in Amarillo ISD, ten students received corporal punishment in the 2011-2012 school year.

And no student with disabilities was punished that way.

Compare that to another large school district in our area, Dumas.

Of the more than 4,100 students in the district, corporal punishment was used more than 600 times on traditional students, and 93 times on students with disabilities.

That's more than 760 times altogether.

Superintendent Monty Hysinger, who has only been with the district for several months, didn't deny those numbers.

"Many times our parents when contacted would rather have their students have swats and get them back into class," Hysinger said.

He said parents and school board members support swats.

"Our district is very conservative and our community is very conservative and very supportive of the district, they do allow it and the state allows it."

Which is true. But some school districts have banned it altogether.

Pampa, Vega, and Canyon all do not use corporal punishment, at all.

Chatman says, other methods are more effective.

Hysinger says their demographic could be a part of it. "Dumas we are a high minority district, many of our students are Hispanic and low socio-economic, we have a large range in our district which is different than other districts."

The data collected is from the Department of Education Civil Rights Data Collection. This was the most recent information available.

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved.


Three-minute news segment from Amarillo TV station KAMR/KCIT (5 May 2015) of which the above report is an abbreviated version. Using federal statistics, it compares practice in two Texas school districts: Amarillo ISD, where CP is rare (and mostly confined to the elementary level, which is not very typical for Texas), and Dumas ISD, a conservative community where extensive use is made of the schools' authority to spank students of all ages. Interviewed, the Dumas Superintendent notes that it is often the parents who demand it. A wooden paddle is briefly shown but it is not clear where it comes from.


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