Birthday spanking tradition at elementary school put to rest after complaints

ALVORD, Texas - Small town folks have at least one thing they can all agree on... They're a tight-knit community with traditions they stick to. However, one elementary school in Wise County is ending its unusual practice of spanking children on their birthday after two parents complained that it was "inappropriate."

It typically went like this... On students' birthday, Principal Bridget Williams of Alvord Elementary School would call them into her office for birthday spankings. One...two...three... And so on... And on to grow on.

Last month Principal Williams sent home a letter stating that, despite the complaints received, the tradition had been on-going for nearly eight years and that if parents did not want their child to participate, to put it in writing in the school office.

The response was overwhelming, and the school has now decided to lay the tradition to rest.

In a statement, Alvord ISD Superintendent Dr. Randy Brown says he supports Williams' decision.

"To my knowledge Alvord ISD has received three complaints about the tradition of birthday spankings at our elementary school. 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.

We have thoughtfully considered the concerns we have heard on this issue. We understand that while everyone doesn’t have a concern with this practice, some do. We encourage all parents with concerns to talk to the person they have the concern with.

We have a process in place to resolve complaints that has proven to be very effective. The campus principal decided on her own accord to discontinue the tradition of birthday spankings. She [Principal Bridget Williams] will continue to celebrate each child’s birthday with a hug or a high five. We are very proud of the students and staff at Alvord Elementary, it is a wonderful school. I support the principals’ decision and agree with her that we have issues much more important to focus on than this one."