Offbeat Texas elem school ends ‘birthday spankings’ after complaints

18:46  09 may  2018
18:46  09 may  2018 Source:   nydailynews.com

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An elementary school in North Texas has done away with its tradition of birthday spankings in light of complaints.

Principal Bridget Williams began the bizarre ritual at Alvord Elementary School eight years ago, according to KTVT-TV.

Every time a student’s birthday rolls around, they’re called to her office at the Wise County school where they receive a spank for each year as well as some candy and a pencil.

After receiving a pair of parent complaints in April, Williams sent home a letter defending the tradition, adding students may opt out with a handwritten note from parents.

“Please know that any student that has requested not to receive spankings in the past had the option of asking for a hug or high five,” Williams wrote, noting only a few students have made the request.

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Complaints about Principal Terry Eisenbarth’s birthday “whammies” at Washington Elementary School are also under review by school board Eisenbarth, 38, said he stopped the birthday spankings after someone complained that they “created an uncomfortable situation,” the letter said.

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“When we celebrate each child and their special day all parties are in the main office front of the camera. There no off-camera celebrations and there are always other adults in the office celebrating with all of us.”

Still, Alvord ISD’s superintendent Randy Brown said they will no longer have the spankings to celebrate student birthdays, writing Williams has agreed “on her own accord to discontinue the tradition.”

“I support the principal’s decision and agree with her that we have issues much more important to focus on than this one,” he said.

While several parents did complain, many of them rushed to the defense of the elementary school principal.

“If it was a big deal to the kid, they would’ve brought it up way before now,” parent Jessica Moore told KTVT-TV.

Lana Simmons agreed: “I think it’s a fun tradition. My kids love it. They always look forward to it.”

Fellow parent Heather Redder echoed the sentiment and suggested the concern around the practice is due to a lack of understanding.

“They’re not used to a small community,” she explained. “And that’s what we are. People that move here from the big city, they don’t realize, and they’re not used to this.”

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