A number of grade schools in Springtown, Texas still allow corporal punishment on students. A requirement, however, is that an administrator of the same sex dole out the punishment.
When the classmate of 95-pound, 15-year-old Taylor Santos allegedly copied her homework, Santos says her punishment went over the line.
[Male] Vice Principal Kirt Shaw disciplined the girl with a large wooden paddle, which he swung with a violent, upward motion, according to the girl’s mom, Anna Jorgensen.
“She was telling me it was numb and that it burned,” Jorgensen said. “And it looked like a burn. She slept on her side that night. She was more humiliated and embarrassed than anything, but the more she and I thought about it, it wasn’t fair and I thought I needed to do something about it.”
Shaw first had the girl call her mother to approve the punishment, which is required. Jorgensen said she agreed, but had no idea the whack would come from a man — or be so severe. Jorgensen said her daughter, a cross-country athlete who weighs just 95 pounds, was left with large, blistered wounds on her buttocks.
“I really don’t think he had to hit her that hard,” she said. “I’m not saying he went in to intentionally hurt my daughter, but intentional or not, it did happen.”
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But rather than condemn the fact that Shaw apparently broke the rules, the school is considering eliminating the requirement that a school official of the same gender administer the punishment.
Springtown ISD Superintendent Mike Kelley reportedly justified the request by saying that the makeup of some of the schools makes it difficult to abide by.
Jorgensern has since revised her stance on corporal punishment, saying she will “never allow it again.”
“I feel like my child has been abused. If I did it to my own kid, [child protective services] would be at my house,” she remarked.
Adding that she is not after money and is not threatening legal action, Jorgensern says she is just trying to look out for what’s best for her kids.
“I think Taylor is proof that we need to keep that policy,” she argued. “I don’t believe a man intentionally meant to do that to her, but it still happens, because men are too big and strong to be hitting 96-pound girls.”
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