- Written by Steve Frank
An Avery County High School teacher who was reprimanded after an incident that was caught on a student's cellphone in March during a class at Avery County High School. The video shows a male teenage student being spanked and paddled by a teacher in what appears to be in fun, but some parents in Avery are not amused. School Superintendent David Burleson said the teacher was giving the student a birthday spanking and it was meant in fun, but he says the school and the system have reviewed the incident and taken action based on the reaction of the student and the teachers record. Burleson said a student in the class showed the video to another teacher and that led to questions. But a parent we talked to said that she knows of a number of other incidents spread over a number of years that were reported and should have shown up in the teachers personnel file. Burleson said that this was the first incident he was aware of in his three years as superintendent, and it is the first year for the principal at Avery High, so that other experiences for the two admininstrators are limited to what was put in the file by others. In the cellphone video, it shows the student lying across the teacher's lap at a desk with students laughing in the background. The superintendent said the long-time teacher was not suspended but was given a verbal and written reprimand, and told that it could not happen again, an action Burleson said was in line with the legal counsel given to school officials about how to properly handle the incident, Burleson said.