Did a Paddling Incident Go Too Far?

A Texoma principal's job could be on the line if an investigation proves he took a paddling incident too far. The Texas Education Agency has been digging into a reported complaint that the Quanah High School principal left severe bruises on a teen's backside. The child's legal guardian is outraged the Quanah School District hasn't taken any action. Newschannel 6 has been working on this case for a month and uncovered more details about this paddling incident and even discovered Principal Rusty Brawley is accused of domestic assault in Lubbock County.

The station is not releasing the name of the legal guardian, or the identity of the teen involved, to protect their privacy. It is also important to note that the school district does allow paddling as a form of discipline and legal guardians, including the woman in this story, are required to sign a permission slip before school starts to allow their children to be paddled.

Open wounds linger over a family affected by a paddling incident that happened five months ago at Quanah High School.

"I've lost sleep. My hair was thinning for a while," said the child's legal guardian who refers to herself as the mother.

The stress and need for answers began on the afternoon of November 11, 2011.

"At about 1:30 p.m. my child called me and said that he smarted off to the teacher and the principal told him he had to take ISS or licks," she said.

Having been in trouble before the child chose licks.

"When he came home he was gritting his teeth, could hardly walk, and said 'I can't sit down.'"

Photos Newschannel 6 obtained, show exactly why he couldn't sit down. Shades of red and purple covered his buttocks from only two paddles making simple things, like walking,

"We immediately went to the Sheriff's Office, the Doctors Clinic, and it just went from there," she said.

All the doctor could do was give the child ice to help ease the swelling and the Sheriff's Office took a report but nothing came from that.

The next day the child's guardian contacted the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. In their report the agent noted there was reason to believe that alleged physical abuse may have occurred but that case was later closed and would only reopen if another alleged incident of abuse or neglect happened.

CPS then turned it over to the Texas Education Agency which is currently investigating Principal Rusty Brawley. The agency would not elaborate further but only said that his teaching certificate could be suspended or revoked if they felt the need to do so.

The child's mother then contacted the county attorney for help but says he has done nothing. Newschannel 6 has made repeated calls to his office, none have been returned.
"No one wants to do anything. The school board is not doing anything. It's just at a stalemate."

In a fit of anger, she says she went to Principal Rusty Brawley's office demanding answers.

"I asked him do you know how hard you hit my child and he said he knew exactly how hard he hit him."

When Newschannel 6 contacted Principal Rusty Brawley we were told to contact Superintendent Buddy Freeman. Reporter Crystal Hall spoke with him openly off camera and he says he is aware of the incident and says protocol was followed 100 percent and would not elaborate any further.
As we dug for answers in this case we discovered some startling details about the principal's past. In the spring of 2010, Principal Brawley was arrested and charged with domestic assault. He would later sign a waiver of arraignment.

Newchannel 6 spoke with both the Lubbock County DA's office and the Lubbock County Clerk's Office, both confirmed the case is still pending and no convictions have been made. Superintendent Freeman says his administration was aware of his domestic assault arrest when Principal Brawley was hired. The Superintendent says it was dealt with according to policy.

"He wants children to be held accountable. He's not being accountable."

Superintendent Freeman says that Principal Brawley has done an excellent job as a principal. He says he moved the high school from academically unacceptable to barely missing the recognized mark in the last year.

Rusty Brawley joined the Quanah School District in August of 2010 and was promoted to Principal in December of 2010.

Crystal Hall Newschannel 6