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10th May 2018

One school to ‘discontinue’ birthday spankings for pupils after parents complain

Orlaith Condon

The US school has decided to stop the “special celebration”.

Alvord Elementary School in Texas has chosen to stop smacking children on their birthdays after parents began complaining about the tradition.

The school apparently spanked children on their birthday for the last eight years before giving them a special pencil and some sweets as a gift.

Parents had complained about the tradition before and headteacher Bridget Wiliams had sent a letter home telling them that it was totally optional.

“In eight years at Alvord Elementary, I’ve only had five or fewer students request something other than the birthday swat.”

The letter said that students could ask for a “hug or a high five” instead of the birthday “swat”.

The principal also said that the tradition is done in front of CCTV cameras and with other adults present before telling parents that if they do not want their children to participate, they must inform the school in writing.

However, since the complaints were made, Ms Williams has decided to “discontinue the tradition”.

Superintendent of the school district, Randy Brown, said of the decision:

“The campus principal decided on her own accord to discontinue the tradition. She will continue to celebrate each child’s birthday with a hug or a high five,” he added.

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