For students at an Iowa elementary school, birthdays mean hearing your name during announcements, getting a new pencil and calculator, and … being called to the principal’s office for a birthday "whammy." What's that? A light spanking from Principal Terry Eisenbarth with a padded hockey stick, according to the Des Moines Register. Though Eisenbarth insists the "whammies" are harmless, he acknowledged in a recent letter to parents the practice was halted after complaints that it created "an uncomfortable situation." Authorities and the school board are investigating the complaints.
"I do not spank my kids at home on their birthdays," says one father of three students at the Mount Vernon elementary school, who called both the school board and police after not getting a response from the superintendent. "That is not a celebration,” he continues. “It's being subservient to a dominating figure." Each of the three children received birthday whammies last fall, but didn't mention the spankings until they were asked about them. However, the couple says their youngest, a 7-year-old with post-traumatic stress disorder, “did not like it one bit.”