If an adult man hits a teenage girl with a piece of wood leaving her bruised, you might call it assault.If he does it with another adult watching, it sounds perverted, and the bystander shares the blame.In Springtown, they call it a school disciplinary policy.But it's wrong-headed and counterproductive.Texas remains one of 19 states that perpetuate the archaic disciplinary practice in which school districts can let adults hit minors. That's incongruous if physical and emotional violence are banned in schools and actively discouraged elsewhere as "bullying."The National Association of Secondary School Principals, which opposes corporal punishment, says it can cause worse behavior and hurt achievement. (bit.ly/URTmct)Recent events in Springtown, a Parker County district with 3,500 students in six schools, demonstrated the absurdity of corporal punishment.A Springtown High cross-country runner was sent to in-school suspension when a classmate copied her work without her knowledge. She didn't want to miss two days of class and activities, but the alternative was to take a paddling. Her mother approved it over the phone, and the male vice principal swatted the girl, with a woman in the room, according to news reports.After the student came home with welts, her mother complained. Another mother said her daughter was hurt, too.When school board members took up the matter, the problem they saw wasn't that paddling is bad policy or that the punishment didn't fit the infraction. It was that, under district policy, only women were allowed to swat girls and men swat boys.The board fixed that. Now, the paddler and paddlee can be of opposite sexes. Another adult of the student's gender must be present. Corporal punishment will occur only "when requested in writing by a parent or guardian." And those requests will be "honored" only once a semester.Physical violence teaches that those in power can use it against the powerless. Most Tarrant County districts, including Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield and Keller, have moved away from corporal punishment.Allowing -- worse yet, asking -- school personnel to hit your kids isn't just mindless. It's wrong.The Legislature has been asked to ban the practice. It should.