Pampa ISD votes to bring back corporal punishment next school year

Updated: Mar. 10, 2020 at 4:36 PM CDT
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PAMPA, Texas (KFDA) - Pampa ISD will be implementing corporal punishment starting next year, but they’re not the only district in the Panhandle region to bring back or still use this form of discipline.

“I will say it’s effective, it just depends on the disciplinary action that you’re looking at, so it depends on what the student did,” said Rachel Freeman, assistant principal at River Road High School.

River Road ISD implemented the option of corporal punishment three years ago.

This means a student could receive swats instead of detention or suspension, and they are one of about five schools in the Panhandle region that has this form of punishment in its policy.

“It’s just one thing of many that we can use for disciplinary consequences. It’s definitely not the one we use most often nor is it the first thing we go to as an administrator when we’re looking at consequences for an action,” said Freeman.

Parents in the Pampa school district proposed the district bring back this form of punishment last summer.

In the last board meeting, the board approved the form of discipline to go into effect next school year.

“It will be one of the things, the parent will make the decision whether or not their child will be eligible to receive corporal punishment or not. Then if an incident occurs, the principal or the designee will contact the parent at the event, and they will discuss what the consequence could be, and they will make that decision together,” said Dr. Tanya Larkin, superintendent of Pampa ISD.

With the motion to bring back the form of punishment passing by only one vote, Pampa ISD says based on focus groups they conducted with staff, parent and student opinions on the matter are very divided.

“I think a lot of people, it was about their values, their core values, what worked for them personally or what didn’t work for them personally, so there’s a lot of opinions with a topic like this,” said Nathan Maxwell, associate superintendent of Pampa ISD.

While multiple districts in the Panhandle have the option of corporal punishment in its policy, the ones NewsChannel 10 spoke with say it is rarely used.

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