Bellevue ISD still using corporal punishment to discipline their students

BELLEVUE, Tx (KAUZ) - Several Texas schools are bringing back paddling as a punishment. Corporal punishment is a hot topic that 27 states have banned. But not Texas.

In fact, one Texoma school district said it never went away. Bellevue Independent School District uses corporal punishment and said it is an effective punishment tool.

Parents have the choice to allow the school to physically punish their children or opt out by signing a "Parent Statement Concerning Corporal Punishment" form at the start of the school year.

"We try to get our kids to understand this is not me punishing you," Bellevue Schools Principal Michael Qualls said. "This is you serving a consequence for a choice you made."

Qualls gives out the consequence by swatting the students, one to two times, with a paddle in front of a witness. The witness is usually a school administrator like the Superintendent or a counselor.

"The last thing I want to do is show up and punish kids," Principal Qualls said. "That's not what principals and school administrators do."

But Qualls said corporal punishment is an effective tool and he does not swat the children unless the students and parents agree to it.

First, the children being punished decide if they want to be swatted, then the school officials call the parents who agreed to allow corporal punishment and ask them if they want the school to swat their children.

"My one son, he is kind of a bullhead and stubborn and I've received that call a couple of times," Shauna Debose said. "It always went well."

Debose said her son was in the fourth grade when he was first swatted.

"He would come home like he was shocked and asked 'do y'all know?' and we'd say 'yeah, we okayed it.'"

If the school or the parent decide against corporal punishment, then the school looks at other ways to punish the children using their discipline list.

Principal Qualls said parents can change their mind, when it comes to corporal punishment, anytime in the school year.

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