Push under way to restore corporal punishment at Dallas ISD

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on May 5, 2010 at 10:08 PM

Updated Thursday, May 6 at 10:33 AM

DALLAS — After six weeks as a tutor at Dallas ISD, Gilbert Leal wants the school district to consider reinstating corporal punishment.

"Right now, teachers can easily be 70 percent  teaching and 30 percent dealing with disruption," Leal said.

The 46-year-old started a Web site, bringbacklicks.com, hoping to convince school board candidates to sign on to the movement before Saturday's elections.

So far, he said, three have expressed interest.

"It's the psychology of it," Leal added. "The threat of licks. That's what I think is so effective."

Leal said he got the idea from Temple Independent School District. Last year, it reinstated its corporal punishment policy.

Since then, administrators have only paddled one student with the child's parent present. But the very threat of it — along with other changes such as better classroom management and teaching teachers how to defuse situations — have helped decrease  disciplinary problems.

In the five years after DISD banned paddling, student suspensions shot up, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Kimberly Lindsey, a DISD elementary teacher who just returned from leave after a second-grader kicked her and caused a tear to the cartilage in her knee, supports Leal.

"We have students who don't take teachers seriously," she said. "They're sent on referrals to the office and sent back. It's like a joke to them."

Still, Leal will need a lot more support on such a sensitive issue before convincing the district to change its approach to disruptive students.

Email: jwhitely@wfaa.com

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