A School Principal Has Been Giving Kids 'Birthday Spankings' & Parents Want to Know WTF

If you were a student at Alvord Elementary School in Alvord, Texas, you'd be called to the principal's office for a "special tradition" on your birthday: a celebratory spanking. Although some may be surprised by this choice of festivity, school principal Bridget Williams proudly started this ritual eight years ago. However not all parents are as enthusiastic about the practice, and after two parents complained that it was inappropriate, it has sparked a bigger debate.  


On April 25, Williams sent a letter to parents defending these "birthday spankings" and explaining what actually happens at school on a child's birthday. "When a student's name is called in the morning to come to the office to celebrate their special day/birthday, they may receive birthday spankings along with a birthday/special day pencil and a piece of candy," she wrote in the letter that was tweeted by CBS's Dan Haggerty. 

Principal birthday spanking

If parents aren't comfortable with having their children partake in a birthday spanking, Williams stated that they must send a written note to the office in order to keep their kids from participating.

However, she noted that each child is given the option of a spanking, high five, or hug, but "in eight years ... I've only had five or less students request something other than the birthday swat," she wrote. Williams also added that the tradition takes place in the main office, in front of cameras, and that there are always other adults present during the celebration. 

The school's superintendent, Dr. Randy Brown, also supports these birthday swats and sees no issue with the practice. "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," he wrote in a statement. "The birthday spankings are of course not actual spankings, they are a traditional celebration of a child's birthday."

Principal birthday spanking

Many parents agreed and chalked up the controversy to an innocent ritual with an "awesome" principal and not something that should be made into a major controversy.

"If it's done in a playful manner," Amanda Fry told CBS 11. "I do it. My boys get birthday spankings at home."

"They're not used to a small-town community," said Heather Redder. "And that's what we are … People that move here from the big city, they don't realize, and they're not used to this.”

However, others find it "inappropriate," and according to Brown, Williams has decided to discontinue the tradition on her own accord to allow the community to focus on "much more important" issues. As a compromise, she will still continue to give out hugs or high fives on each student's birthday.

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