Temple, Texas, now allows — nay encourages — teachers in its 14 schools to paddle any unruly kids. Apparently in Texas, as in 19 other states, corporal punishment is not illegal. Those states are (almost) all southern.

This Washington Post article has some quotes along the 'a bit of discipline never hurt anybody'/'puts hairs on your chest' line. And then casually drops this bombshell.

A joint American Civil Liberties Union-Human Rights Watch report last year found that students with disabilities were disproportionately subjected to corporal punishment, sometimes in direct response to behavioral problems that were a result of their disabilities.

The Post add that "parents also pushed for the change because many paddle their children at home and wanted consistent discipline in the classroom." Which raises the question: where does one go about buying a child-paddle? Are there child-paddle stores, with racks of gleaming peacemakers? Because it seems extra-specially wrong to use any of the discipline tools that Google turns up for 'punishment paddle' on children.

UPDATE: Regina Corley, a spokesperson for the Temple Independent School District emailed to point out that there are stringent standards applied to the physical beating of children with a paddle. Classroom teachers cannot themselves beat children with a paddle. They must send any serious offenses — not mere unruliness — up the chain so that, after careful consultation, someone more senior can take a specially designed piece of wood and beat a child. She adds that "to date, there has been ONE administration of the literal definition of corporal punishment. It was at the parent request and the parent was present."