THREE RIVERS, Texas - Parents registering students at Three Rivers ISD schools will have another question to answer this year - will they or won't they allow their children to be spanked at school?
"Back when I was in school, we were punished with a paddle," said mom Diana Ferrell. She agreed with the district board of trustees, who recently and overwhelmingly voted for the return of the punishment. “When it was used properly the child learned from it.”
But others are disappointed the district is reaching so far.
"The one that is supposed to spank the kid is the father and mother. Not the principal or whatever they call it. … I went through that and it's real hard when somebody spanks you," said Gilbert Perez.
Last year, the former Department of Education Secretary took a stand against the practice, saying it can lead to aggressive behavior, depression and even PTSD.
Superintendent Mary Springs declined to comment on camera, but in a statement said administrators can only administer corporal punishment with written parental consent.
"If we did it, that's the punishment and we did it to ourselves," said student Blake Fudg.
Some Three Rivers students have already heard the news. For students like Joseph Garcia, the policy isn't new at all. It existed a few years ago at his old school. And, he says, a paddle wasn't necessarily a bad thing.
"It was kinda embarrassing. I shouldn't have done thing I did. I'm now doing better changes and doing my best to stay out of trouble," said Garcia.
Texas is one of 15 states that expressively permit corporal punishment. Seven other states don't have any laws for or against. The rest prohibit the practice.