CLAREMORE, OK - A Claremore Christian School teacher who swatted a boy with a 3-foot long dowel rod has been charged with injuring the child. Claremore police investigator Tim Norris said the bruises on the 12-year-old boy "were the most severe I've seen in a long time. One almost covered the whole buttocks."
Wendall Rayn Mullins, 28, was charged Tuesday in Rogers County District Court. He was freed on his own recognizance and returned to work at the school, which is owned and operated by the Church of Claremore.
The boy received the spanking Oct. 1 as punishment for passing notes in class, authorities said.
His mother, Cynthia Russell, took the boy to a Tulsa hospital where doctors characterized the bruises as "severe," she said.
Oklahoma law allows corporal punishment in schools. It requires that a witness be present and the paddling be delivered with only one hand.
The boy told authorities that Mullins held the dowel with two hands.
"We take strong issue with the theory two hands were used," said Stratton Taylor, who is representing the school. "There is a witness to bear that out."
Norris said at least three former students have since come forward and described similar bruising from swats they received at Claremore Christian School.