When it’s your kid's birthday on a school day, they’ll likely get cupcakes, well wishes from the whole class, and maybe a candle to blow out. One thing they don’t necessarily expect: a “birthday spanking” from their principal. That is, unless they go to Alvord Elementary School in North Texas.
, Principal Bridget Williams has had a tradition where she gives a firm pat to students' behinds on their birthdays, known as a "birthday spanking." (After their consent, apparently.) It's something she's reportedly done for nearly a decade, but is only now getting attention after two parents issued a complaint, calling the act "inappropriate."
After an issue was raised, Williams allegedly sent a note to parents saying they could write the school a letter if they did not want their child to receive a spanking.
Not soon after, the school district’s superintendent, Dr. Randy Brown, issued his own statement shutting the tradition completely.
“We have thoughtfully considered the concerns we have heard on this issue,” he wrote in his letter to parents. “We understand that while everyone doesn’t have a concern with this practice, some do.”
Even though the spankings have been canceled, many parents at the school feel it was all done in good fun. “I do it. My boys get birthday spankings at home,” one Alvord parent, Amanda Fry, told .
Another, Lana Simmons, told that her child “look[ed] forward” to getting spanked by the principal.
Parents agreed that principal Williams isn’t violently beating students or forcing them to do anything against their will, but spanking a child is controversial enough as is, so maybe it's not the best idea to promote it in school?
GoodHousekeeping.com has reached out to Alvord Elementary School for comment and will update this story as more information becomes available.