Irving’s school board appears split over the possibility of bringing corporal punishment back to the district after a five year absence.
School Board President Steven Jones planned to bring up the issue of teachers hitting students who need discipline at Monday’s meeting But he pulled it. However, it came up in the afternoon briefing, and he said he intends to bring it up again. Jones said even the possible use of corporal punishment might be enough to deter bad student behavior.
“Whether principals would choose to use it or not, maybe some could, maybe some wouldn’t. Maybe none would. I don’t think the board would be directing them to do that.”
Jones also said parents could opt out of corporal punishment for their children. Joining Jones in wanting to the see corporal punishment return to Irving ISD was new trustee Norma Gonzales. But support was mixed. Another new trustee, Randy Randle, who was backed by Jones, wants more time with the issue. That’s not all.
“I think there are other issues we need to tackle first, like getting the curriculum established for next year. That’s probably the most important thing,” said Randle. “And maybe look at our grading procedures and stuff that’s going to have a more immediate impact on the classroom.”
Irving school board Vice President Larry Stipes also wants a go-slow approach to corporal punishment.
“I would hope we would get tons of information for our parents before we even begin to implement this policy. I think we need to pull back the reins and put first things first,” said Stipes.
He also said the reintroduction of corporal punishment would need massive amounts of input from administrators, would need to go through the policy committee, and then be considered in context with the district’s broad discipline policy. Jones said he expects this issue will come up again on the Irving school board.