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Paddling Students in School?

Posted by on Sep. 23, 2012 at 8:33 AM
  • 56 Replies

ABC News Blogs

Mom angry that male vice principal spanked child

Mom Angry That Male Vice Principal Spanked Her Daughter
Rather than spend two days in in-school suspension for allegedly letting another student copy her classwork, Taylor Santos, a well-regarded student and athlete at Springtown High School, near Fort Worth, Texas, chose to get paddled.

As her mother, Anna Jorgensen, told ABC News affiliate WFAA-TV in Dallas, Taylor didn't want to miss any classes because "her grades are very important to her."

So Santos went to the vice principal's office to request a paddling. She called her mom, who said that as long as her daughter was OK with it, so was she. According to school policy, parents who don't want their children to subject to corporal punishment must submit a written statement each year.

What neither Jorgenson nor Santos knew was that a man - the vice principal - would be doing the swatting, while a female watched. As far as Jorgensen knew, she said, school policy mandated that males spanked males and females spanked females.

Because of the force with with Santos was struck, her bottom was fire-engine red and looked as if it had been "burned and blistered," said Jorgensen, who took photos as evidence.

While paddling in public schools has been outlawed by 31 states, as well as by Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, the Supreme Court ruled in 1977 that it was legal unless it has abolished by local authorities, according to the web site Corpun.com.

It is legal in 19 states; efforts to ban it in WyomingNorth CarolinaLouisiana and Texas failed. However, in 2011 laws were introduced in both Texas and North Carolina giving parents the right to exempt their students from paddling.

"A lot of people think it was abolished 20 years ago," Jimmy Dunne, president of People Opposed to Paddling Students (POPS), told ABC News. A former math teacher in the Houston Middle Schools, Dunne founded POPS in 1981 and has been the spanker and spankee. But he refused to participate after noticing that some teachers were "getting sadistic pleasure out of hitting these kids."

He has actively tried to get schools to curb the practice ever since, but he has met with resistance. In June, he appeared at an anti-corporal punishment in schools rally in Washington, D.C., and will be attending a school board meeting on Monday after a 13-year-old student at Barbers Hill Middle School in Houston was covered with welts and bruises after a paddling he received for getting three consecutive zero grades.

"Members of the Texas legislature say, 'I was paddled, and I turned out OK,'" he said. "Or they say they want to leave it up to the local district to decide. They think it's good discipline. But it's legalized child abuse. I always say if this was done away from the school, the person would be arrested."

The day after her daughter's paddling, Jorgensen called the vice principal to complain, but was told it was "normal for her bottom to look like this after receiving swats." The vice principal added that he had no idea about the same gender swatting, Jorgensen said.

Neither Jorgensen, nor the vice principal nor Springtown ISD Superintendent Mike Kelley, was available for comment by ABC News. But according to WFAA, Kelley is going to ask the school board to abolish the same gender policy, since adhering to it can be difficult on some campuses.

Jorgensen told WFAA that she will be at the school board meeting to encourage them not to abolish the same-gender policy.

"I think Taylor is proof that we need to keep that policy," she said. "I don't believe a man intentionally meant to do that to her, but it still happens, because men are too big and strong to be hitting 96-pound girls."

by on Sep. 23, 2012 at 8:33 AM
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Replies (1-10):
lga1965
by on Sep. 23, 2012 at 8:36 AM
Paddling is archaic and ignorant. I never had to deal with things like that but I would not have allowed it.
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rfurlongg
by on Sep. 23, 2012 at 8:53 AM
That is crazy.
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inmybizz
by Member on Sep. 23, 2012 at 8:59 AM
5 moms liked this

IDK..As a parent(and one that does not hit) i would have never co-signed with my daughter and allowed her to be hit.. I think it's crazy for the mother to approve and afterwards want to come back and complain. 

rfurlongg
by on Sep. 23, 2012 at 9:35 AM
1 mom liked this
I agree.

Quoting inmybizz:

IDK..As a parent(and one that does not hit) i would have never co-signed with my daughter and allowed her to be hit.. I think it's crazy for the mother to approve and afterwards want to come back and complain. 

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mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Sep. 23, 2012 at 10:09 AM

there is a reason corporal punishment is no longer used.

LiliMama18
by Member on Sep. 23, 2012 at 10:14 AM
1 mom liked this
While I agree that schools are super lacking in discipline, I don't see how anyone could be ok with a male (or any gender for that matter) forcibly hitting their child with a huge piece of wood. I'm not against spanking, but there is just too much room for physical (and sexual!) abuse when u allow someone else to beat ur child.
I really can't believe anyone would sign off on this or allow it. And like I said, I'm not against spanking at all.
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colljd02
by Julia on Sep. 23, 2012 at 10:27 AM
1 mom liked this
I'm shocked that this is still going on in schools. BUT the mother is only upset bc a male did it and not a female? Smh
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desertlvn
by Silver Member on Sep. 23, 2012 at 10:36 AM

While I am totally against paddling in schools, the mom and daughter were fine with it. I don't understand why the mom is now going to the press and complaining.

Lizardannie1966
by on Sep. 23, 2012 at 10:41 AM
2 moms liked this

I have never and WILL never support corporal punishment in or out of school.

cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Sep. 23, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Here in PA, that man would be arrested. Paddling is not allowed by school officials, even with a parents' consent. It's against the law. We have spanking laws here in our state, and this just wouldn't fly. Even a parent who spanks is not allowed to use anything other than their open hand, and God help them if they leave a mark, because they can and will be arrested if anyone sees it. And I 100% agree with that.

Even in states without spanking laws, this was inappropriate. That girl is too old to be spanked, even by a female. Gender has nothing to do with it. It wasn't age appropriate, period. In high school, we had a principal who used to try to paddle students, sometimes as old as 17. For him, it was all about power. He wanted to show kids he was in charge. He pulled it one too many times, and one of the guys he was trying to spank took the paddle off of him and broke it in half. He never tried to spank anyone again after that.


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