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Houston Matters

Revisiting The Pros And Cons Of Corporal Punishment

A state lawmaker explains why he’s in favor of corporal punishment, and a sociologist explains why she’s against it.


Teachers have reacted to Gov. Greg Abbott's education agenda for this summer's special session with a mix of skepticism and fierce opposition.

Three Rivers ISD, about halfway between San Antonio and Corpus Christi, recently approved a change to the district’s corporal punishment policy. Before 2015, administrators at the school were allowed to deliver corporal punishment to students. Now, after two years of corporal punishment being gone, it has made a comeback — with the added stipulation that parental consent must be given before the punishment is administered.

In the light of this change, we revisit a conversation with Texas State Rep. Harold Dutton from 2014 about his support for corporal punishment as a parenting tactic. Then we talk with Donna Amtsberg, who is opposed to it. She’s a clinical professor of social work at the University of Houston.