A mother in Texas is livid: not that her 15-year-old daughter was paddled at school for cheating on a test — both mom and daughter actually approved the punishment — but that she was spanked by a male vice principal.
Taylor Santos, 15, a sophomore at Springtown High School Texas, allegedly let another student copy her work and was given a two-days of in-school suspension. After one day of missing classes, Santos asked if she could get a paddling instead of missing a second day; she called her mother and got approval for the change.
But her mother, Anna Jorgensen, is now super-pissed. A male vice principal spanked Taylor Santos instead of a female administrator — although there was a female in the room the whole time. “I knew school policy was females swatted females, and males swatted males,” Jorgensen said. “If Taylor wanted that, I said I would be fine.” She’s now upset that her daughter’s bottom has “welts and bruises.”
Frankly I am just shocked that school employees can spank children — especially a high schooler. Aren’t these kids a bit old to be getting spanked? Maybe it’s just a Southern thing (I’m from Connecticut) but I thought spanking was just a really-rare punishment for small, irrational toddlers having temper tantrums or something. I don’t know anyone who got spanked by anyone other than a parent and definitely not older than, like, age six. The idea that your school principal can paddle you when you’ve got your freakin’ driver’s license is unconscionable to me.
Alas, it is legal for students to be spanked or paddled by administrators in 19 states in the U.S., although it is constantly under attack by child’s rights advocates. Of course, whether corporal punishment is “child abuse” or “discipline” is always going to be controversial, but studies have shown that in schools that paddle students, black kids are disproportionately beaten. (It’s unclear what ethnic background Taylor Santos is.)
It’s wrong, in my opinion, for schools to be spanking students, period, so I personally can’t get worked up by the fact she was paddled by a man instead of a woman. The whole thing is wrong, not just the gender of the person doing the spanking. Taylor Santos’ mother says a strong man should not be paddling a small 15-year-old girl; I don’t really think that matters when we’re discussing abuse — women can sure as hell hit hard, too. My biggest concern would be whether it was some kind of kinky erotic sex thing for the vice principal (again, accompanied by a woman) —which adds a creepy, more sexually abusive element to the physical assault.
Anna Jorgensen complained to the school board that protocol was not followed and was told it may do away with the males-males and females-females policy. Which just boggles my mind — even if, per the superintendent, two adults are required to be in the room. It’s further condoning the violence and opening a big can of worms where sexualized violence could occur.
Paddling in schools should be abolished altogether. There are other, better ways to punish students (and for parents to punish kids) that don’t implicitly condone violence. As someone who enjoys a good consensual spanking with an adult sexual partner, I can tell you that “welts and bruises” are part of the package — so, male or female, that was going to happen anyway. That’s what a spanking is. With all due respect to Anna Jorgensen for her outrage over the gender thing, she OKed the bruises in the first place. Perhaps this will make her think twice about allowing administrators to use violence against her kid.