Authorities in Oklahoma say an elementary school teacher inflicted visible injuries on two students during corporal punishment last month.
According to Fox News, 50-year-old Gary Gunckel was arrested on suspicion of two counts of child abuse in connection with the alleged paddling he gave the students.
After his arrest, Indianola Public Schools indicated that the principal had been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the legal process.
An affidavit submitted in connection with the case claims Gunckel used a wooden paddle to inflict the punishment on the 10- and 11-year-old victims.
The mother of one boy involved reportedly contacted the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office after finding bruises and other marks on her son’s rear.
A statement from the school district declined to offer many details on the matter.
“Although federal law prohibits any school district from disclosing specific information related to an individual child’s discipline or their student records, Mr. Gunckel followed district policy,” said Superintendent Adam Newman.
Reports indicate he complainant approved corporal punishment including a swat with a paddle after the boy got into a fight with the other alleged victim. When she saw the result, however, she said she felt Gunckel used “excessive” force.
The principal reportedly apologized to the mother, explaining that he used as much force on the elementary school students as he did for students in the district’s high school.
An affidavit suggests he qualified his apology, though, saying he was sorry the boy bruised easily and telling the mother that the beating was “supposed to hurt so that he would remember not to do what he was doing anymore.”
[Featured image: Gary Gunckel, Pittsburgh County Sheriff’s Office]