New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 19, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 2A — Heralo-Zeitung — Saturday, February 19,2011
Corporal punishment debated by state legislators
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By Will Wright
Will sparing the* rod spoil the child?
i hat question will be up for debate in the Texas Legislature, which will deckle the merits of a bill filed in the House that seeks to eliminate corporal punishment in Texas public schools. New Braunfels Independent School District is the only Comal County district offering the measure as a way to discipline unruly students — and it does so only after receiving consent of the student and his or her parents.
Rep. Alma Alien, D-Houston, filed HB 916 in late January. Co-authored by Hep. Diane Patrick, R-Arlington, the bill prohibits corporal punishment by amending a section in the Texas Mut ation Code.
The proposal forbids school district employees, volunteers or contractors from "hitting, spanking, paddling or deliberately inflicting physical pain by any means on the whole or any part of a student’s body as a penalty or punishment for the student’s behavior on or off campus."
Paddling methods differ from district to district, it can only be done by school administrators, it’s conducted in private, and the number of swats — usually up to three — are administered with a long, flat paddle across a student’s clothed posterior.
Texas is one of 20 states that allow public schools that option, and many school districts offer it as a way for students to avoid in-school or oflf-campus suspensions that would deprive them of time in
the classroom. The Texas Penal Code exempts parents, educators and guardians from assault charges when it comes to employing physical discipline upon children.
NBISD officials insist paddling is not child abuse.
The district’s codes of conduct for employees and students have clear outlines about corporal punishment. It’s "a discipline management technique” to be used only in cases of mid-level breaches of the student code of conduct — such as, for instance, a student swearing at peers or teachers. A physical assault would be high-level infraction warranting off-campus suspension or expulsion.
“If a student has done something severe enough to keep them suspended out of school, corporal punishment isn’t usu
ally going to be an option," NBISD Superintendent Randy Moczygemba said.
“I would say that it’s a choice only when the student chooses not to be placed in in-school suspension.”
The student must be told why corporal punishment is being administered; that it shall l>e administered only by a principal or designee; that the instrument used to administer it he approved by the prin-cipal, and that it shall be administered in the presence of another school administrator and out of the sight of other students.
1 he NBISI) has dedicated several pages to the use of corporal punishment, which on average is meted out to 15 students per year and only at the high school. It honors requests from parents who don’t want
their children punished in this manner, and offers students other options, such as inschool suspension.
However, corporal punish-
banned its use last year, and there are movements afoot to outlaw corporal punishment nationally.
Many urban school districts
in Texas have voted to abolish corporal punishment.
It was revived in Temple, however, when a unanimous vote by the school board reinstated the measure last spring. Several grass-roots organizations are lobbying the legislature to abolish it, and professors at Southern Methodist University are presenting a “Global Summit on Ending (Corporal Punishment and Promoting Positive Discipline” in
Matters of Public Record
Dallas in early June.
The summit’s purpose: To bring together educators, psychologists, sociologists and others “who concur that corporal punishment of children is an unsuitable and potentially damaging way to discipline and teach children.”
If HB 916 becomes law, the NBISD will erase corporal punishment from its list of disciplinary options. For now, Moczygemba said it’s up to parents and students to decide what’s best.
“The only unfortunate thing is if (HB 916) does become law, it takes away a choice between a student and a parent,” he said.
“I know that people argue that it shouldn’t be a choice, and I understand that. But if that bill passes, we will certainly comply with it.”
Law enforcement officers in New Braunfels and Comal County booked the following between Feb. 17 and Feb. 18:
♦ Will David Bacon. 31, Canyon Lake, possession of a controlled substance, penalty group 1, under 1 gram.
♦ Jennifer Cicha, 36, New Braunfels, misdemeanor property crime, possession of drug paraphernalia.
♦ James Edward Delacruz, 32, New Braunfels, motion to revoke probation-driving while intoxicated.
♦ Anna Marie Diaz, 30, New Braunfels, three counts aggravated robbery.
♦ Brandon Kyle Hood, 18, Canyon Lake, theft of property between $1,500 and $20,000.
♦ Michael Edward Manriquez, 32, San Antonio, driving while license invalid.
♦ Lara Beth Melsha, 44, New Braunfels, family violence assault by contact.
♦ Sierra Ann Poe, 19, Canyon Lake, speeding, failure to appear-speeding.
♦ James Christopher Reyna, 29, Canyon, driving while intoxicated.
♦ Rodney Dean Robinson, 43, New Braunfels, driving while intoxicated, third arrest or more.
♦ Elijio James Valdez, 44, San Marcos, contempt of court-failure to pay child support
♦ Joe Angel Velasquez, 38, New Braunfels, failure to appear-marijua-na possession under 2 ounces, aggravated assault-dating violence.
♦ Sean Phillip Worden, 30, New Braunfels, speeding, failure to maintain financial responsibility; failure to appear-failure to maintain financial responsibility; possession of a controlled substance, penalty group 2, between 1 and 4 grams.
Under the U.S. Constitution, any person/defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty. If anyone found not guilty or has had the charges dropped without the State proceeding to trial and would like that finding published in the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, please contact managing editor Autumn Philips at (830) 625-9144 ext 220 or e-mail aphillips@herald-
Construction continues on Walnut Avenue
By Greg Bowen
Workers on the Walnut Avenue reconstruction project hauled out their jack-hammers this week and began demolition work on the Dry Comal Creek Bridge, which will be widened.
“We expect to be working on the expansion for the next few weeks,” said Assistant (Tty Engineer Octavio Garza.
Drivers are asked to be aware of a lane closure on the outside northbound lane only of Walnut Avenue from Katy Street across the Dry Comal Creek Bridge to North Academy Avenue.
The lane closure will allow for the widening work to proceed.
Installation of the stormwa-ter line continues between Cross and Stonewall streets.
“The new water main on Bridge Street is active,” Garza said. "The utility crew is cur
Construction on Walnut Avenue continues Monday.
rently cutting and capping the old main.”
New Braunfels Utilities is scheduled to start adjusting aerial lines from Landa Street towards the Dry Comal Creek next week.
“This work will take a few weeks to complete and will
require varying lane closures. Once NBU — and Time Warner and AT&T — complete their adjustments, we ll start advancing the stormwater line from the outfall at the Dry Comal Creek towards Landa Street,” he said.
Work on the $27.8 million reconstruction project began in September 2010 and is expected to take three years to complete.
For more information on the project, visit the project website www.nbtexas. org/WalnutConstruction.
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February 19,h & 20th 10am - 5pm
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The only optical in New Braunfels to carry Fendi Frames!
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