ALVORD, Texas – Students at one Texas elementary school will no longer be headed to the principal's office for "birthday spankings."
Alvarado Elementary School Principal Bridget Williams notified parents in a letter April 25 that she had received complaints about her eight-year tradition of doling out spankings on students' birthdays, according to KTVT.
In the letter, Williams described the celebration, saying, "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 added that the spankings take place in the main office, which has surveillance cameras, and there are other adults present.
Some parents defended the practice, according to KTVT, but at least two complained.
In the letter, Williams informed parents that they had to request, in writing, that their children be exempted from the "special" celebration.
In a statement, however, Superintendent Randy Brown said Williams ultimately decided to discontinue the tradition, but "will continue to celebrate each child's birthday with a hug or a high five."
He also made a point of saying that the spankings weren't "actual spankings," but "a traditional celebration of a child's birthday."
KTVT said at least one parent told the TV station the practice wasn't appropriate, but several others didn't have a problem with it.
One called Williams an "awesome principal," and said the spanks were all in fun.
“They’re not used to a small town community,” Heather Redder 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.”