What would you do if your 15-year-old daughter came home with her backside so bruised and beaten she could barely sit down -- because a grown man spanked her with a paddle? What would you do if that grown man were the vice principal of your daughter's school? As the mother of a tween girl, I know what I would do, or at least what I would want to do -- but I probably shouldn't get too detailed here (let's just say my plan resembles an episode of The Sopranos).
Anyway, the above question unfortunately isn't a hypothetical one for Texas mom Anna Jorgenson, who "came unglued" when her 15-year-old daughter Taylor Santos got home from school with a butt that "looked almost like it had been burned and blistered, it was so bad." What did she do? Well, considering the vice principal's actions were legal in the state of Texas -- and that Jorgenson gave permission for her daughter to be paddled -- what COULD she do?
That's right, Texas is one of the 19 (!) states in this country to allow corporal punishment in schools. Parental consent is usually (not always?!) required, however -- and in this case, not only did Jorgenson say it was okay for her daughter to be spanked in school, Taylor (a top student at Springtown High) actually requested the paddling in place of a day's suspension.
BUT here's the catch: School policy dictates that "corporal punishment shall be administered only by an employee who is the same sex as the student specifically." So neither Taylor nor her mom had any idea the MALE vice principal would be the one to wield the paddle. What happened was in fact a violation of district regulations.
Just the thought of it makes me feel absolutely ill. Personally, I would "come unglued" if any faculty member of either sex dared to lay a hand on my daughter (or my son), but the fact that this was an adult male spanking a teenage girl takes the incident to a different level of outrageous.
And it gets worse. After Jorgenson called to complain, Springtown Superintendent Mike Kelley proposed lifting the same sex spanking regulation, calling it "too limiting."
And it gets worse again. Last night, the school board voted in favor of the change. (Parents will reportedly have the option to choose whether a man or woman pummels their child.) I just don't get it. Why is this okay? Especially when I remember what a judge in (a different part of) Texas said last year to a mother who was arrested for spanking her 2-year-old: "In the old days, maybe we got spanked, but there was a different quarrel. You don't spank children. You understand?"
No, I don't.
What would you do if a male vice principal paddled your 15-year-old daughter?
Image via WFAA.com