September 25th, 2012
11:30 AM ET

School under fire after male employee paddles teen girl

(CNN) - A school near Fort Worth, Texas, is facing questions about its corporal punishment procedures after a student came home with a bottom that "looked almost as if it had been burned and blistered."

Springtown High School sophomore Taylor Santos requested corporal punishment because she didn't want to return to in-school suspension, a punishment she said she received when a classmate cheated off her, CNN affiliate WFAA reported. Her mother agreed because it was Taylor's preference, but expected her daughter to be hit by a woman: A district policy says corporal punishment should only be administered by people the same sex as the student. Although a woman was in the room, a man hit her, leaving red marks and welts that lasted for days, Taylor and her mother said.

Texas is one of 19 states where it's legal for school employees to hit students. During the 2005-06 school year, 223,190 students around the United States were punished physically, according to The Center for Effective Discipline.

The superintendent suggested they change the policy to remove the sex requirement, but Taylor's family says she's proof it's needed. Now, the school district has changed the policy to require parents to request in writing corporal punishment and the sex of the person administering it.

What do you think? Should schools be able to administer corporal punishment? What requirements should be in place for it to occur?

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soundoff (312 Responses)
  1. Margie

    If her mother had done that to her daughter resulting in that kind of injury child protective services would have stepped in and put that child in foster care. Why is this form of child abuse still legal in our schools? Why hasn't that man been charged with assault? There is no need for corporal punishment. Why not have the offending student attend in school suspension where she can still do her work, or perform chores around the school, or something productive? There is nothing productive about beating a child. There are plenty of other deterrents that can be used that don't involve hitting a child.

    September 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  2. Amanda

    I personally think physical punishment is un necessary and un called for in the school system. There are plenty of other forms of punishment without physically laying hands on people's children!!

    September 28, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  3. michaelwr90

    97.8 GPA.. Damn she's a GENIUS!!!

    September 28, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  4. Bruce Rubin

    Only in Hillbillyville

    September 27, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Kate

      the teacher that did this is a sadist and pervert and should be outed so we can all tell him what a pos he is.

      September 27, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
  5. Chris

    I gotta say – she has guts to go on national news with this.

    September 27, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  6. NativeUSA

    Not much sympathy here...........try obeying the rules, now if she got paddled for something she did not do then that is a bit different.

    September 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Chris

      Trying to paddle a teenager in high school is a good way to loose some teeth.

      September 30, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  7. Ryan

    LOL. that is an awesome answer. Somebody needs to be punished though, so they should get a ugly girl to take her place.

    September 27, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  8. mick dwyer

    I was canned when I went to high school we had to piull down our trousers and undies and bend over the male teacher then proceeded to serioulsy whip our asses with that stick. long thick cane and he would get a good golf swing in and it hurt like jesua all mighty. if you got six it was really welling up and i couldnt sit for a week I stood up in class as a protest and eventually they banned it and just canned your hands I now have two very sore thumbs 35 years later as a resultant effect they banned that too. my thumbs get saw if I write to much. I am an artsit and I can't hold a pen now for too long. so thats my story life long effects.

    September 27, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • NativeUSA

      Sounds like a bit of better behaviour on your part would of left your thumbs a lot less sore if in fact it has anything to do with the price of tea in china...........not much sympathy here for bad manners

      September 27, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
  9. J Parker

    From about fifth or sixth grade, I would actually fantasize about a teacher paddling me, so this seems completely inappropriate! Wrong on so many levels...

    September 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  10. Dez

    I'm surprised it's legal for a teacher to paddle a kid. Here in NYC, if a parent does it and leaves a mark on the child, get ready for social services to make a house call. They'd be calling it abuse and taking your kids away.

    September 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  11. boonemama

    I think that there is nothing wrong with corporal punishment in school but I think it should stop after elementary school. The higher level kids let the principal decide conduct notice to the parents or something like that. when the kid is in high school they should have had enough corporal and verbal punishment to know how to act. The next step is taking their favorite the CELL PHONE THIS USUALLY GETS MY KIDS BACK TO PAYING ATTENTION. Taking the IPOD or the other high tech items will work or their driving privileges. Kids not repecting teacher by middle school didn't get ENOUGH corporal punishment. The parent are still defending their bad conduct and always will. Some parents don't want to parent they want a buddy. I agree with other stop the whinning!

    September 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  12. giles12345

    I understand that a male should not hit a young woman, its against the law but he and the school district should not be crucified, this young woman is simply upset because she didn't want to be punished in the first place and tried to get revenge as quickly as possible. Parents should raise there children and not blame the teachers when the children act up and get punished

    September 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Kate

      creepy pervert

      September 27, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
  13. Susan

    Learn how to spell

    September 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  14. JustTheFax

    My mother made it quite clear to our school system that if any of her boy's were out of line enough to deserve an asss whipping, they were to tell her and she would hand out the discipline. No one else was to ever lay a hand on her kids.

    Trust me, I would have much rather had the school do it. Mom had a mean backhand and I deserved every damn one of them. I miss you Mom and love you dearly.

    September 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Seb

      LOL, love ur comment. Reminds me of my Mom! I still flinch anytime I'm in the passenger side of a car and the driver raises there hand, but I wouldn't change the past for anything. My Mom instilled values and respect in me as a result of her proper discipline. No way however, would she let someone else hit me on her behalf. If more parents diciplined their kids, then the scholl system would'n need to.

      September 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
      • JustTheFax

        Seb, sounds like our Mothers came from the same mold. She would whip my asss and then turn around and give you a hug that made the world melt away. I'm grateful she raised us 5 boys the way she did. A stern hand and a warm heart. Peace to you. 🙂

        September 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  15. Susan

    Hopefully the teacher made her sign the paddle after her swat!! My gyod!! we are raising the biggest wussies ever!!! I chose to be paddled but I wanted it done by a female ! Shut Up!!!!

    September 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  16. Susan

    Sure she's a pretty girl, He probably couldn't wait to hit her but. What a jerk.

    September 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  17. andrewthall

    When I first started teaching back in 1972, corporal punishment was permitted and i administered it a few times. My observation of the results made me come to the conclusion that all it proved was "who had the hardest butt". It did nothing to improve student behavior. So. I decided to no longer use the paddle and, instead, I decided to work with the parents - a strategy that had much better success.

    I retired from teaching in Texas. Both school districts in Laredo had already banned corporal punishment. I would like to see the physical punishment be banned throughout Texas.

    September 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  18. Susan

    If any man hit my daughter on her behind (remind everyone, the behind. She is in highschool, He is a man hitting her behind) What a moron. If I were her mother, this man better leave town because he would be the sorriest man around.

    September 27, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Oakspar

      So, you have no problem with violence and retrobution – just not against your child? Well, I'm sure you would agree that man's parents then would then have a right of vengencence against you (after all, you hurt their child, even if he is older). Then maybe your parents can get into it for a good ole AARP rumble.

      The girl did wrong; she should be punished. If the man did wrong, then she was not punished, but victimized. In that case, the man should be punished for victimizing her and SHE should be punished for her wrong.

      So, (A) fire the man and bring in the softball coach to paddle her correctly, or (B) admit that the punishment was valid reguardless of the gender of the arm that swung the paddle.

      September 28, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  19. Lara Avara

    The weight of the scientific evidence confirms that corporal punishment is not only ineffective, but it is harmful. I can't believe we're still dealing with this in a civilized socie....OH this is Texas. Never mind.

    September 27, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Krustofski

      who ever said this generation's society is civilized?

      September 27, 2012 at 11:29 am |
      • Lara Avara

        A girl can dream.

        September 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  20. Mac Salings

    I am 69 years old, and I have had my but set on fire a few times.I think it helped because I didn't do that any more.I grew up to be a Police Officer ,and I think that was because I minded.Now days kids know they can do just about anything and get by with it, because no body can punish them not even the parents,because Social Services would be on the one who punished.Kids even cary cards with thier names and phone # on them so they can call if someone paddles thier but! Thats the reason for the gangs,stealing, robbing drinking, doing drugs etc.I could go on and on,but it wont get any better.

    September 27, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Melanie

      What is wrong with people.!?!? hitting is never the answer! what does it solve...? aren't adults supposed to be setting examples. for children and adolescents alike...? what happens in the real world....? oh somebody makes a mistake now lets paddle them..? I don't see the logic..? could you imagine bosses paddling their employee's for being late..? I was hit as a child let me tell you... hitting does not deter or stop unwanted behaviour. In fact hitting encourages more hitting.. teaches fear, not respect. It will only teach children and adolescents alike how to get away with certain undesired behaviours undetected...... wake up ADULTS and learn to USE YOUR WORDS like big boys and girls.

      September 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Doodlebug2222

      Actually, there is another way. When a baby is small – you begin by helping them to not be afraid of being alone, letting them know you are there – within reach, if they need you. You teach them to busy themselves, their minds and use their imagination.

      Even when they are small, you communicate with them as you can. You do not use your hand but rather your body language, tone and find other ways and methods to punish them. When my girls were younger, and about the age you would ground them – instead I gave them the punishment of going to get groceries with me. We first made a list, talking as we did, and chatted as we went through the store. I empowered her by allowing her to make selections but would gently point out the differences in poundage, price and quality. Decisions that have to be weighed. I allowed her to take the lead, and as she did – I asked her – how was school – etc.. She opened up to me. I let her load the counter, pay the cashier and we both loaded and unloaded the groceries. We stopped on the way and got a cool drink – and sat there for a quick break – watching all the cars swish by – and I listened to her, not going off into a tangant about this or that – but making it – about her.

      When my children get tempermental, or rude – I do not take it personal – not at all. They are young and do not know patience as I do. They seem to be trying to work through something – and I always regard this type of emotion as a symptom of something bigger going on. And I once again – think of somewhere we can go – neutral – like a walk in the park to feed the ducks... and I ...listen.

      See being a parent – we forget, it's not all.. about us. It's about them – always. And sure I want my time to me.. and they often step into it but hey – at work do I tell my boss to bugger off if I'm busy with something I want to do – and they want me to stop and do something else? NO? So.. why do it with my kids?

      My children – will go on and into the future – and bring, what I hope is – the best parts of my shared memories, lessons and hopes/dreams. Why would I want to even open a door that can never be shut – by striking them.

      My parents were abusive beyond what is acceptable – beyond what is imaginable. I could never wish a moment on my children – as I once experienced – you can never ... get that moment back.. or the trust.

      September 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
      • me

        If everyone were this kind of mother, the world would be a much, much better place. Unfortunately most people are too self absorbed to put this kind of effort into raising their children, they'd rather just start swinging on them when they get mad. Then swing on them again when the kids act up, never understanding that children model the behavior they see. Poor kids never stand a chance.

        September 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  21. timothy

    Hmmm...tough one. I would say absolutely not so long as the student, through their behavior, gives up the right to a free education. If a child is so out of control that they are dirupting the educational process for others, then they should be removed and the education/educational costs of that child now fall upon the parent. Personally, no one better lay a hand on my child -I will correct the offendign behavior of y children- that is my job. With that said, anyone who thinks being an educator is easy and every teacher has all the answers to deal with the many ways we as parents raise our kids and send them to school has no idea what we fill the schools with. We have no 'common sense' of right or wrong, dress, langage, appropriate behavior, how to correct/punish and we expect individuals to be able to handle the 'have it your way' society in a way that we will all be pleased? Good luck. Perhaps corporal punishment should be an across the board policy no one can opt out of and maybe then everyone who sends their child to school and every kid who walks through that door will understand what is expected and the consequences of not doing so.

    September 27, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  22. Michael

    "What do you think? Should schools be able to administer corporal punishment? What requirements should be in place for it to occur?"

    I think if you administer to corporal punish your child then you can't complain late about the results. I do want or need an administer to corporal punish my children, my wife and I do that when we believe it is appropriate punishment for behavior that is dangerous to our child or behavior that our child did that is dangers to others and only after exhausting all other methods to correct the behavior. If you teach your children at home to respect others and be good “little citizens” there would never be a need to allow corporal punishment to occur in schools.
    Parents don’t allow others to do your job!

    September 27, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  23. fern

    The answer is, educators should absolutely NOT use corporal punishment on kids. Never. If they can't handle their job otherwise, maybe it is time to switch professions. Beating children is wrong, plus it is ridiculous that teachers should have power over children, that the parents don't have, in a society that tends to blame everything on parents.

    September 27, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • Oakspar

      (1) Parents do have the authority to discipline their kids corporally.
      (2) The school did this with the consent of the parent at the request of the child (to be honest, the child should not have had a say in this, only the parent and school).
      (3) In some states it is still against the law for parents to raise unruley children, in most states it is against the law for children to be unruley. In my state you can actually put the police on your child for being disobedient and take them before a judge (state youth camps are the usual result and highly effective).
      (4) The complaint here was about the nature of the beating, the only possibly impropriety was that it was a male swinging the paddle. Their complaint would be the same if a woman swung with the same upper body force, so unless this man was stronger than any woman could be, then their complaint has no grounds.

      September 28, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  24. D.I.

    Schools should be allowed to discipline kids. Kids will do what they can get away with, where they can get away with it at. But, not everyone knows how to properly discipline anymore.

    September 27, 2012 at 7:36 am |
  25. Jorge

    I have three daughters, two who are grown and have happy families and professions, who we never beaten. I also have a 14 year-old who is to me as a lamb to a shepherd. I was often punished corporally when I was a child, more as a product of alcoholic rage than anything else. As a result, I have anger, trust and authority figure issues that arose from it, and to this day I refuse to go to church because I have vowed to never allow another man to meddle in my personal life unscathed. My point is that any attempt from any teacher to paddle or otherwise assault my daughter would result in disaster, because said teacher would end up in the ICU, and I would end up in prison.

    September 27, 2012 at 7:30 am |
  26. Jay Whitaker

    I wanna see the paddle tape LOL!

    September 27, 2012 at 4:39 am |
  27. Andrew Gardner

    As a Canadian who's been aware of one aspect of America's Dark-Age status (half your states allow teachers to beat kids), part of me wants to deny responsibility and say "This is a problem in America, we've outlawed this in Canada and Europe."

    But the least I can do is post on this story and say: violent child-rearing does not work. Here's an example: me. My parents never beat me, and as a result I have never been in a single fistfight nor attacked anyone, and have a clean criminal record and employment history. Oh boy, imagine the heights I could reach if my parents only beat my ass with a wooden board...

    September 27, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • No Offense

      Good day Mr. G,

      My parents utilized corporal punishment on my brothers and "as a result I have never been in a single fistfight nor attacked anyone, and have a clean criminal record and employment history." Not to mention, I am a [Bachelor of Technical and Professional Studies in Biotechnology] degree holder.

      Please do not insinuate that all children who are disciplined via corporal punishment will grow up to be something terrible. On the other side of the coin, there many cold-blooded killers and psychopaths who were not physically discplined as a child. Did that thought cross your mind, at all? Of course, not.

      Please, do your research. It is ok to post your opinion but it is not ok to post an uneducated stereotype. Thank you.

      September 27, 2012 at 4:50 am |
  28. Homer Gordon

    Just let me say this, at NO POINT, and any grade should corporal punishment be administraded by ANY TEACHER or school administrator. What is wrong with the parents for allowing this in the first place. I don't care what that child said or did, they do not deserve to be HIT. Good thing it wasn't my grand child, someone would be feeling about now......

    September 27, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • KP

      For one thing, it is a practice that has pretty much been disbanded in most states/schools. However, in this instance, it was the parent's (and student's) prerogative to allow the teen to be beaten. The issue is not that it occurred, because you are either for or against it. The issue here is that they feel a male should not have been used because he used considerable force.

      However, responding outright to your statement, like many methods of discipline, whether paddling is an effective measure depends on the personality of the child. Just as you can trust some children not to act out when left unattended, you have other children who you scarcely dare to leave alone for five seconds.

      September 27, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • jaycee

      Right K. Its probably YOUR grandkids i have to listen to tantruming and throwing fits all while their obliviously disrespectful mother stands by.. every time i go to Walmart to do my food shopping. I think moms like this are incredibly disrespectful to the stores patrons subjecting them to such annoying BS. But underrstanding that its the mothers fault, shes the only one that i would love to dopeslap. If my kids did this in a store, they only did it once. I dropped what i was doing, took him out to the car and tanned his behind and said 'Now, lets try this again.'
      Corporate punishment in schools? Yep. A swat on the behind at home? HECK YES.

      September 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
      • jaycee

        Sorry, that was meant for Homer.

        September 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  29. konrad_k_kay

    Was it wrong? Hmm, I better review the security tape a few times to be sure!

    September 27, 2012 at 1:35 am |
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