Boy's Paddling at School Leaves Big Bruises

DeSoto school administrators say paddling was proper

DeSoto school administrators defended the paddling of a 12-year-old boy Thursday, even though a photograph showed it left large red and purple bruises on his buttocks.

Jose Flores, 12, a student at McCowan Middle School, admits he got caught shooting rubber bands in class last week.

He said he got called to the office and given a choice: Paddling or suspension.

"They asked me what I wanted and I said, 'Swats,' but they never asked my mom,” Flores said.

His mother, Noemi Arevalo, said an assistant principal did call her but that she never gave permission for the paddling and instead asked to talk the main principal.

Flores said he was paddled four times.

"I kept on trying to turn around,” he said. “I was crying. And he was like, 'If you don't turn around and let me do the last one, I'm going to have to do it all over again.'"

When her son arrived home from school, he showed his mother his severe bruises.

"At first, I started crying because I was sad,” Arevalo said. “I couldn't believe it, that they did that to him in school."

His mother showed NBCDFW a photo of his buttocks after the paddling, covered with red and purple bruises.

The DeSoto Independent School District issued a written statement, insisting the mother did give permission, and that the paddling was done appropriately with a second school staffer observing.

"The corporal punishment was administered in accordance with district policy," the statement said. "The parent and student elected corporal punishment over suspension."

The student’s mother said the bruising was so severe, she took her son to the doctor and called police.

DeSoto police did not immediately return a phone call, but the district said police notified administrators that the punishment was not "excessive or abusive" and that no charges will be filed.

"I'm upset because if I was the one doing that to him, I'd be arrested," Arevalo said.

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