Friday 27th September 2002 was the first day of the school year for Timpson ISD, a school in Nacogdoches, Texas. In keeping with school tradition on this ‘homecoming day’, the entire senior class took part in a parade at the start of the first period by driving their vehicles through the school parking lot with some hanging out of the windows and shouting.


Mr Robert Cousins, the Timpson High School Principal, was not impressed and ordered the entire senior class to line up and be paddled. The American school paddle is typically a flat wooden blade measuring four or five inches across and up to two feet in length on the end of a handle. The number of strokes, or swats as they are commonly referred to, is typically from one to five and they are always given across the bottom.


Mr Cousins himself paddled the girls while a coach paddled the boys.


One parent, Mr Darryl Pate, complained. He said his daughter, Connie Pate, a cheerleader, suffered bruising that was apparent several days after the punishment was administered. Mr Pate further complained that no female member of staff was present when Connie was paddled.


After investigations involving both the School Board and the District Attorney’s office no charges were brought against the school principal and the School Board were of the opinion that the bruising suffered by Connie Pate was minimal.




(If anyone has any information that would add to the details above, please forward to Chas Young at