Texas Parents Want Teacher Disciplined for Paddling 5-Year-Old Son

Texas Parents Want Teacher Disciplined for Paddling 5-Year-Old Son

03/08/2016 AT 02:20 PM EST

A Texas mother says a schoolteacher used corporal punishment against her 5-year-old son without her permission.

Ayanna Smith tells PEOPLE her son, Jalijah, is still a bit shaken up from last week's paddling inside the Meadows Elementary School in DeSoto, Texas. The DeSoto Independent School District remains one of the few districts in Texas where corporal punishment is still used, but parents must give written and verbal consent for such disciplinary measures.

Smith says her son was disciplined for sticking his tongue out at the teacher – an allegation Jalijah continues to deny.

"He used to like to go to school," Smith says, adding Jalijah has been home-schooled ever since last week's incident. "His spirit is broken. I mean, he’s a 5-year-old; he's not normally a bad kid and he doesn't get into trouble. He doesn't do things out of the ordinary. He's a good student."

Smith tells PEOPLE she would like the boy's teacher to apologize to her son. She said she completed forms during Jalijah's enrollment objecting to the use of corporal punishment on her child.

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"The school has not been cooperative," Smith says. "At first, I wanted the teacher fired. But at the very least, what should happen is the teacher should apologize. Apologies matter to kids."

The teacher, who has not been identified, remains on the school district's payroll. Smith says she feels like school officials have ignored her concerns while continuing to defend the teacher's offensive actions.



"I simply feel some sort of disciplinary action should be taken against this teacher," Smith says. "I'm still shocked this happened."

Only 19 states, including Texas, permit the use of corporal punishment in schools. Most of the state's larger urban and suburban districts have banned corporal punishment, but recent studies suggest students are paddled in more than 40 percent of Texas' school districts.

DeSoto Superintendent David Harris did not respond to emails seeking comment.

Smith says her family has been meeting with lawyers to discuss their options. No criminal charges are expected to be filed in the case.
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