A Texas elementary school decided to end birthday spankings after receiving several complaints, officials said Wednesday.
Alvord Elementary School Principal Bridget Williams started the tradition eight years ago, KTVT reported. Williams said students’ birthdays will now be celebrated with hugs or high-fives.
Alvord Independent School District Superintendent Randy Brown, and several other parents, said they didn’t have a problem with their children receiving a swat on the back side, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Regardless, Brown said the spanking has ended.
"To my knowledge Alvord ISD has received three complaints about the tradition of birthday spankings at our elementary school," Brown said in a statement. “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 celebrations of a child's birthday. The campus principal decided on her own accord to discontinue the tradition of birthday spankings.”
Brown’s statement came about two weeks after Williams sent a letter to parents giving them the option to have their child opt out of the birthday spankings, the Star-Telegram reported. Williams said in the note that she’s only had “five or less students request something other than the birthday swat.”
People could’ve been turned off by the idea of the birthday spanking because of the rural vs. urban dynamic, Heather Redder, one parent, told KTVT in defense of the tradition.
"They're not used to a small town community," she said. "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."
Alvord, located 50 miles northwest of Fort Worth, is home to 1,434 people.
Lana Simmons, another parent, told KTVT they thought it was a “fun tradition.”
“My kids love it. They always look forward to it,” she said.