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School to stop giving birthday spankings

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, May 12, 2018
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Birthday spankings will no longer be given to Alvord Elementary students following complaints by concerned parents.

In a letter sent to elementary parents April 25, Elementary Principal Bridget Williams explained that on a student’s birthday, his or her name is called to come to the office for a birthday celebration that includes birthday spankings, a special pencil and a piece of candy. Because of the concerns expressed by parents, Williams said that parents who would prefer their child not receive the spankings should send a handwritten note to the office.

She states in the letter that students have always had the option of asking for a hug or high five instead of the spanking. She said in eight years of carrying out the tradition, five or less students have opted for something other than the birthday spankings.

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

In the past couple of weeks since the letter was sent to parents, some members of the community contacted local media outlets, including an anonymous letter sent to the Wise County Messenger, expressing their ongoing concern that the birthday spankings were inappropriate touching on the bottom and should not be tolerated.

When contacted for comment, Alvord Superintendent Randy Brown’s office provided a copy of an email from Williams to a concerned parent as well as a statement from Brown.

Brown stated in the press release that Williams had decided on her own to discontinue the birthday spankings but will continue to celebrate students’ birthdays with a hug or high five.

“To my knowledge Alvord ISD has received three complaints about the tradition of birthday spankings at our elementary school,” Brown stated in the press release. “I have talked to many other parents who don’t have any concern with the practice. I myself have a child attending school at Alvord Elementary, and I personally don’t have any issue with it. The birthday spankings are of course not actual spankings. They are a traditional celebration of a child’s birthday.”

Brown also expressed his support for Williams and the changes that have been made.

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

One Response to “School to stop giving birthday spankings”

  1. What a bunch of or a few snowflakes that want to ruin a tradition. Probably the same kind of folks that want to change history and tear down statues. You have my support Mrs Williams.

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