NRA Board Member: Spank Students, Unless They’re Playing With Toy Guns

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Longtime NRA board member Charles Cotton protested a bill to end corporal punishment in public schools because he thinks “a good paddling” just might keep him from, “having to put a bullet in him later.”

Cotton made the comment on an online forum to explain of why gun rights activists should be following the bill even though it “doesn’t deal directly with guns or self-defense.” He also manage to make it personal saying that, “I’m sick of this woman and her ‘don’t touch my kid regardless what he/she did or will do again’ attitude.”

Now, “this woman” he is speaking of is Dr. Alma Allen, a state representative from Houston with over 4 decades of experience in education, including 10 years as a member of the State Board of Education.

Rep. Allen has been a highly respected member of the Texas legislature since 2004 and a teacher in HISD for almost 40, but Cotton thinks the philosophy behind her bill is the cause of higher crime rates, and argues that her bill attempts to, “neuter schools and teachers ability to control and teach students and this has a direct impact on the crime rate in Texas.”

Allen has discussed her belief that corporal punishment disproportionately affects black males and there is research to back it up.  A study published Howard University found that, “The incidence of African American males receiving CP was found to be extremely high, as was the likelihood ratio comparing Black male students’ CP rates to those for other race/gender cohorts.”

The fact that African American men make up a disproportionate amount of the imprisoned population and receive a disproportionate amount of corporal punishment seems to suggest the opposite of Cotton’s assertion.

What is even more disturbing is that this comes as some lawmakers in Texas are trying to give school administrators and teachers the ability to use deadly force against students to protect life or property under what’s called the Teachers Protection Act.

Perhaps most strange though, is that although Cotton says he is concerned about the lack of discipline kids receive in their formidable years, he would also support a bill that would prevent students from being sanctioned for simulating the use of a gun with a toy or their hand.

HB 223 would prevent a school district from punishing students for:

Brandishing a partially consumed pastry or other food item to simulate a firearm or weapon;

(2)  possessing a toy firearm or weapon that is two inches or less in overall length;

(3)  possessing a toy firearm or weapon made of plastic snap-together building blocks;

(4)  using a finger or hand to represent a firearm or weapon;

(5)  vocalizing an imaginary firearm or weapon;

(6)  drawing a picture or possessing an image of a

firearm or weapon; or

(7)  pretending a crayon, pencil, pen, or other writing or drawing instrument is a firearm or weapon.

The caveat here is that a student may be subject to disciplinary action if he or she, “disrupts learning, causes bodily harm to another person, or places another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm.”

But it concludes by saying…

Disciplinary action under Subsection (b) must be proportionate to the severity of the behavior and consistent with school district policies for similar behavior.

So in other words, if these last two aforementioned gun bills passed, a teacher can shoot a kid for brandishing a gun-shaped pop-tart — but only if they feel threatened, of course.

Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

About Author

Joe Deshotel

Joe was born and raised in Beaumont, Tx, but live music and politics brought him to Austin. He has worked in and around government and elections for over a decade including for a member of US Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Mayor of Austin. He currently serves as Communications Director for the Travis County Democratic Party. He is most interested in transportation, energy and technology issues. He also likes Texas Hold'em and commuting on his electric skateboard. Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

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