15-year-old Texas High School student Taylor Santos has made the headlines in the state this week after the news emerged that she was spanked so hard by a male vice principle at her school that her posterior was left with welts and looked “burned and blistered.”
When I first read the headline about Taylor’s harsh “paddling” as it was called, I thought it was some sort of sinister sex scandal between a student and a teacher, that is not the case here, it was corporal punishment, but administered too harshly. I guess my mind wandered to sex scandals because corporal punishment has been illegal in the UK (where I am from) for a very very long time and when you hear about someone being spanked with a paddle, that’s usually what is going on!
It is not however, illegal in 19 states in the U.S, Texas being one of them.
Taylor’s story goes like this…It was discovered that a class mate had copied Taylor’s homework, she said she was unaware that the other girl had used her homework to cheat, however the school decided to punish both of them with a 2-day in school suspension.
Taylor, who is a top sophomore with a GPA of 97.8, served the first day of the suspension, but after that, she decided that she did not want to miss anymore classes and opted to take the punishment of a spanking instead. Now the district’s policy states that a parent must approve the corporal punishment and that it must be administered by a teacher who is the same sex as the student.
The school phoned Taylor’s mother, Anna Jorgensen who respected her daughter’s wishes not to miss any more school and agreed to the punishment. However when she discovered that the school had contravened the policy of the same sex punishment, she was furious.
Her daughter had been left with a painful behind, covered in welts and looking “blistered and burned.” She said she did not believe that the male vice principal meant to inflict so much damage on her daughter, but more likely that he did not know his own strength. That is why she believes it is so important to adhere to the same sex corporal punishment rule. She said, “grown men, should not be spanking 96 pound girls” and she has a point!
Jorgensen called the school to complain about Taylor’s treatment, she was told however, by the vice principal who administered the spanking that it was perfectly normal for her daughters bottom to appear like that after a paddling and that he was not aware of the district’s same sex corporal punishment rule.
The family then contacted Springtown ISD Superintendent Mike Kelley, however rather than received the support they thought they would, they were left mortified when the Superintendent suggested that the rules needed to be changed to scrap the same-sex punishment rule. Kelley’s reasoning behind this was that the rule was difficult to follow in certain schools because of the ratio of male to female teachers.
Taylor’s case will no doubt bring the controversial issue of corporal punishment in schools up in debate again. In 2011 campaigns to get spanking outlawed in Texas, Wyoming, Louisiana and North Carolina failed, but laws were introduced that allowed parents the rights to have their children exempt from corporal punishment.
Personally, I’m not a fan of corporal punishment, however if you are going to carry it out then the same-sex policy should definitely be adhered too. It sounds like the vice principal at Taylor’s school did go too far and there was a female teacher in the room (in accordance with the district policy that two staff members need to be present during punishment) so I really don’t understand why she couldn’t have administered Taylor’s spanking herself.