Staffers Dismissed for Blistering Punishment

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By Grace Lavigne

So you think your staff orientation covers everything?

Two counselors at a city-run day camp in Coppell, Texas, were dismissed last month after they allegedly forced their middle school-aged campers to crawl or crab walk across a hot asphalt track in 98-degree weather as punishment for being loud during a movie.

The fired counselors at Coppell’s Camp Do-It-All, which operates during school breaks, are recent college graduates in their 20s who, according to the camp, went through employee training about working with youth.

Police officials said no decision has been made on whether to file criminal charges.

“This is not the Bear Bryant football camp,” Jim Witt, Coppell’s city manager, told The Dallas Morning News. “This is not a penal institution. This type of punishment is totally unacceptable.”

About 20 children, ages 12 to 14, were involved in the incident. Several suffered blisters or burns on their hands, according to police. Parents of the children learned of the matter in telephone calls from the youngsters.

Coppell is about 18 miles north of Dallas.