Second Grader Stripped Naked, Spanked in Front of Classmates;
School Principal calls it "a family matter"

By Jane Watrel, WRC/NBC News Channel, February 28, 2007

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, MD -- School officials in Prince George's County, Maryland are investigating a relative's actions in a charter school last week. This is after a woman walked into the school and spanked her nephew in front of his entire classroom.


"The aunt...whipped him with a belt," said Reitan.

Paula Reitan couldn't believe her ears after leaving a school party at Turning Point Academy her daughter and three classmates told her how a fellow second grader was stripped naked below the waist and spanked by a relative in front of the entire class.

"The aunt came, made the child pull his pants down, pull his underpants down and in front of the entire class, and unfortunately my daughter had a full view of this, whipped him with a belt," said Paula Reitan, parent.

Horrified that the teacher was right in front of the classroom at the time of the beating and the school's principal knew about the incident, she fired off an email to a Prince George's County School Board member only to be told Turning Point Academy is a charter school. Prince George's County has no jurisdiction.

PRINICPAL: "...The incident is a family matter..."

That didn't set well with the PhD Mom.

"I did some research and I really believe that the school board does have the legal and moral obligation to investigate this," said Paula Reitan, parent.

In an about face, the school is now investigating. While Turning Point Academy is attached to Trinity Assembly of God, the teachers here are paid by taxpayers.

"Certainly if there is a reason to contact social services regarding an adult's actions we would do that," said John White, Prince George's County School District. "If one of our employees didn't act appropriately then disciplinary action would follow there as well."

No one at Turning Point Academy would comment about the spanking.

On Monday, it's principal sent a letter home to parents saying: "Please know that the incident is a family matter and should not have occurred in a school setting. All interactions were between the child and a family member."



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