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Issues Raised Over 'Birthday Spankings' At School

ALVORD, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - The Alvord Elementary School principal gives "birthday spankings" to students. At least she used to.

She calls it a tradition she started eight years ago.

Some parents complained and called it inappropriate. Other parents rushed to her defense.

Principal Bridget Williams sent this letter to parents on April 25 after the district confirmed two parents complained about the birthday spankings.

In the letter, Williams explains that students are called to the office on their birthday and given the option of a spanking, a hug, or a high five. She writes "In eight years at Alvord Elementary I've only had five or less students request something other than a birthday swat."

Superintendent Dr. Randy Brown supported his principal's actions during multiple conversations with CBS 11, but said to his knowledge, Williams' letter was the first formal announcement to parents about the practice of birthday spankings.

Brown said in a statement, "The campus principal decided on her own account to discontinue the tradition."

At least one parent who contacted CBS 11 called the practice "inappropriate," but more than a dozen parents waiting to pick up their kids disagreed.

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

"Now if they had a board betting them, that's a different story," said Martha Pippin.

"I think it's a fun tradition," said Lana Simmons. "My kids love it. They always look forward to it."

"Mrs. Williams is an awesome principal," said Herb Edwards. "My son goes to school here. He does it. It's all in fun."

"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."

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