Parents Complain After Texas School Spanks Kids On Their Birthdays

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Despite the practice ending, other parents believe it should stay in place, saying it's city parents moving to the rural area who just don't understand.

It’s the kind of story that makes you think, “how did this go on for so long?” An elementary school in Texas has finally decided to end it’s tradition of giving students “birthday spankings.”

The tradition, which began eight years ago at Alvord Elementary School just an hour outside of Dallas, Texas, will instead be celebrated with hugs or hive fives, according to Principal Bridget Williams.

District Superintendent Randy Brown said he’s familiar with at least three complaints that came about from parents distressed over the spankings. But he saw no harm in them.

“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,” Brown said.

He further defended the ritual by pointing out they are “not actual spankings.”

Other parents suggested that families moving from the city to the rural area don’t understand the tradition.

“People that move [to Alvord] from the big city, they don't realize, and they're not used to this,” parent Heather Redder said.

But the spankings should end. This isn’t about a rural-urban divide, or concern about the strength behind the spankings. This is about personal areas being touched, and how students at young ages are being told conflicting messages.

Elementary-age kids are taught the differences between “good” touches and “bad” touches. Birthday spankings make it seem as if there is a gray area, where some allowances of inappropriate touching are allowable. Indeed, it’s hopeful that teaching those kinds of lessons and remaining consistent with them can prevent horrific incidents at school from happening in the first place.

If parents want to continue the tradition, they should do so at their specific children’s birthday party, not in a school environment. The school is making the right decision to end the practice once and for all.

Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters

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