A measure being introduced in Congress would ban corporal punishment in public schools nationwide, 1200 WOAI's Michael Board reports.

  Two dozen Democrats are backing the Ending Corporal Punishment in School Act, which would force the 19 stats which still allow paddling in schools, including Texas, to halt the practice immediately.

  Debbie Ratcliffe with the Texas Education Association, says similar measures have come up in the Texas Legislature but have never been approved and signed by the governor.

  "It is a pretty rare session where there is not a bill like that filed," Ratcliffe said.

  The bill states that 'hundreds of thousands of school children are subjected to corporate punishment in public schools.  School corporal punishment is usually executed in the form of paddling or striking students with a wooden paddle on their buttocks or legs, which can result in abrasions, bruising, severe muscle injury, hematomas, whiplash damage, life threatening hemorrhages, and other medical complications that may require hospitalization."

  The bill also states that African American children are twice as likely to end up on the receiving end of corporal punishment than white students.

  Corporal punishment is generally banned in major San Antonio area school districts, including Northside and North East ISD.

  Deb Sendek with the Center for Effective Discipline says the ban is needed.

  "Population wise, Texas is one of the highest number of students in the country who get paddled," she said.

  "If you look at pure numbers, Texas is the highest number of students actually getting hit."

  Opponents of corporal punishment say it is ineffective, it perpetuates violence in schools, and it results to placing students 'outside' of the standard student population.

  Ratcliffe says the use of corporal punishment in Texas schools is on the decline.

  "My sense is that a majority may have a policy that says it is permissible, it is not used a whole lot," she said.

  Statistics show it is mainly rural districts which practice corporal punishment in Texas.

  The bill would ban all federal education funds to any school district which allows corporal punishment.