By NBC News satff
A Texas mother is furious that male vice principal left her daughter bruised and blistered after a spanking, which the girl opted for over another day of in-school suspension for cheating in class.
Taylor Santos, a sophomore at Springtown High School, northwest of Fort Worth, Texas, told school officials that she didn’t know another student had copied her classwork, but school officials gave both girls two days of in-school suspension as punishment.
After serving one day, Taylor said she didn’t want to miss any more classes, so she went to the vice principal’s office and opted instead for a paddling – a legal form of punishment in schools in Texas and 19 other states, according to the Center for Effective Discipline.
Because school policy says spanking or paddling requires that parents give permission, the vice principal had Taylor call her mother, Anna Jorgensen, who gave her approval.
"I knew school policy was females swatted females and males swatted males,” Jorgensen told WFAA-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth. “If Taylor wanted that, I said that would be fine.”
But what happened instead was the vice principal himself swatted Taylor while a woman was present in the room, despite school policy that states “corporal punishment shall be administered only by an employee who is the same sex as the student."
After learning who did the spanking and seeing the wounds on her daughter's body, Jorgensen said she was horrified.
"I came unglued," Jorgensen said. “It looked almost like it had been burned and blistered, it was so bad,” she said of her daughter’s bottom, adding that she took photos of injuries to prove how red they were.
Jorgensen called the vice principal to complain, but he told her it was perfectly normal for her daughter’s bottom to look like that. He reportedly added that he wasn’t aware of the school’s same-sex swatting policy.
Springtown Superintendent Mike Kelley told WFAA that school officials never administer corporal punishment unless a parent requests it. While he declined to speak on Taylor’s case specifically, he stressed that two adults are always present when corporal punishment is administered, but he said the school district may have made an error.
Kelly also said he wants to do away with the current policy because the male-to-female ratio of administrators at the school makes it a difficult policy to adhere to. He said he will ask the school board to get rid of the same gender requirement at a board meeting Monday.
For her part, Jorgensen said she will be in attendance at that meeting to urge the school board to keep the gender-based policy.
"I think Taylor is proof that we need to keep that policy," Jorgensen said. "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."
More than 220,000 school children nationwide were subjected to physical punishment during the 2005-2006 school year, according to the Center for Effective Discipline, citing the most recent figures available.
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