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School to stop spanking pupils on their birthdays

May 9, 2018

Superintendent of the local independent school district, Dr Randy Brown, said the headteacher at Alvord Elementary School had decided “on her own accord to discontinue the tradition.”

In an earlier letter the principal, Bridget Williams, wrote to parents to make clear that the practice was optional.

She said that if parents would prefer their child to “not receive birthday spankings” they should “please write and send the office a handwritten note”.

School to stop spanking pupils on their birthdaysSchool to stop spanking pupils on their birthdays

Explaining the practice, Ms Williams said a pupil may “receive birthday spankings along with a birthday/special day pencil and a piece of candy”.

Any student who rejected a spanking has the option of a hug or a high five.

Birthday Spankings at an Elementary School… Okay, or No way?

— Dan Haggerty (@HaggertyCBS11) May 8, 2018

But Ms Williams said no more than five pupils had requested “something other than the birthday swat” over the past eight years.

She said that the spankings were on camera and there were “always other adults in the office celebrating with us all.”

Dr Brown, said he had a child at the school and did not have any issue with the practice.

No more Birthday Spanking at Alvord ISD. Here’s the Superintendent’s explanation.

— Dan Haggerty (@HaggertyCBS11) May 8, 2018

To his knowledge, the school had received two complaints, and had “issues much more important to focus on than this one”.

CBS11 said it had been contacted by a parent who described the practice as inappropriate, but more than a dozen others disagreed.

One said it was done in a playful manner, while another said it was a fun tradition and her kids “always look forward to it”.

Dr Brown said it was a “traditional celebration of a child’s birthday” and they were “of course not actual spankings”.

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