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TX School Changes Paddling Policy After Outcry

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on September 26, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A Texas school policy that allows administrators to paddle students has come under fire after a high school sophomore, Taylor Santos, was hit with a paddle.

Santos allegedly let another student copy her schoolwork although she denied knowing the student did it, reports NBC News. To avoid a second day of in-school suspension she accepted paddling as an alternative punishment and her mother agreed as well.

But her mother didn't realize what she was agreeing to. Her 15 year old daughter was paddled by the male-vice principal hard enough to leave a mark.

When Santos got home from school, her mother could see the marks and said her bottom was still so red it seemed burned and blistered.

Policy at Springtown Independent School District allowed administrators to paddle students unless their parents expressly opted out, according to Dallas' WFAA-TV. It also stated that paddling should be done by an administrator of the same sex as the student.

Her mother expected that is what would happen in this situation, reports NBC News.

Paddling and spanking are still legal in schools in many states, especially in the southern part of the country. In states where it's legal, schools can paddle students without parent permission unless the school policy says otherwise.

To avoid complaints of sexual assault or excessive force, school officials generally paddle students with another administrator or teacher present. In most situations paddling is done by a teacher of the same sex.

Can your child be paddled at school? If you aren't sure, ask our experts on the FindLaw Answers Education Forum. Knowing your rights is the first step in protecting yourself and your children.

Springtown's policy previously said paddling should be done by same sex administrators but school officials changed that, reports Dallas-Fort Worth WFAA TV. The school board voted Monday to alter the policy.

Now parents have to expressly opt-in before their children can be paddled by administrators. They can also decide whether their children will be paddled by a male or female administrator.

Santos' mother should be happier with that policy. As she told NBC News, even if the vice-principal didn't mean to hurt her daughter, he's too big to hit a 96 pound girl.

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