Teacher Caught on Camera Grabbing Kindergartner By His Face; You Won’t Believe Her ‘Punishment’

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Hat/Tip Independent Journal Review.

We send our children to school in order that they get an education. We also have the expectation that our schools will keep our children safe while they are in their care. However, that was not the case with one little 6 year old boy whose only crime was going to the bathroom.

Okay, so here’s the scenario: A teacher comes across a kindergartner leaving the bathroom. She grabs the 6-year-old boy by his face and pins him against the wall in an apparent fit of anger. But she doesn’t stop there. She then picks up the little guy by his shirt, as his head flops back. The whole thing is caught by surveillance video.

The teacher’s punishment? A 10-day suspension without pay.

See for yourself if you think this teacher’s actions warrant a 10 day suspension.

Yeah, the parents didn’t think this teacher’s actions were grounds for anything other than dismissal.

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Anthony and Autumn Nelson are still stunned by what happened to their 6-year-old son Ian last Wednesday. Mr. Nelson told CNN:

 ‘We thought it was just a little incident that happened, and that’s what the school made it out to sound like. And then all of a sudden we get this video today and this is just outrageous.”

 The Nelsons say Ian had a bruise to the back of his head.

 A letter Tuesday from Riverdale Superintendent Eric Hoffman informed teacher Barb Williams that she is suspended for ten days without pay for her “repeated use of physical force [that] was completely unwarranted and unprofessional.”

The parents plan on taking this tape to their county Sherff’s office so they can press charges.

Normally I’m not a litigious person, but in this case, I hope these parents get a nice fat settlement from this school system. Maybe then they will learn to hire teachers that don’t abuse the children in their custody.

The Nelsons want Williams fired. They say they plan to take the video to the county sheriff’s office and pursue criminal charges.

One can only wonder what would happen to this little boy’s parents if they were caught abusing him this way.

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  • The Ex Fundie

    While I am not in any way defending this woman’s actions or saying they were in any way appropriate…it’s important to know the whole story here before vilifying this woman.

    Before I go further, I will say again, it is NOT ok to treat children this way no matter what they’re doing. And it IS grounds for punishment of some sort if it happens.

    But, to say the teacher did this just because a kid went to the bathroom is likely not giving all of the information. If that’s really all the kid did, then this teacher clearly has some serious mental health issues. But, since she is a teacher, and it sounds like she has been for a long time, it’s doubtful that she is legitimately mentally unstable.

    I’ve worked with children for 20 years. And sometimes, you get kids that just have absolutely no respect for anyone. And, sadly, it’s becoming more and more common. The world revolves around them i their minds and they genuinely don’t ever take anyone else into consideration. Why? Because they’ve never had to. Their parents haven’t taught them to be conscientious. They haven’t taught them to respect the adults that are taking care of them. And when a teacher has to deal with a kid like that hour after hour day after day after day, it can become INCREDIBLY wearing. And sometimes, people lose their cool and do something they shouldn’t have.

    Again, I’m not saying this makes this teacher’s actions right. They were indeed wrong. But, for a teacher to grab a kid like that, because I’ve worked with children for so long and have witnessed perfectly norma, loving, patient, and compassionate people completely lose it at times over the years, I don’t believe that this teacher reached this point just because a kid went to the bathroom. The news doesn’t report what that kid was doing before going to the bathroom. Likely, he was on this teacher’s last nerve and then did something over the top. I say so because that is usually what happens when a teacher or adult working with children lose their cool and make a big mistake.

    So, while I say this teacher definitely should not have done this, the entire scope of the story needs to be taken into account before deciding if she should be allowed to teach.

    Imagine a friend of yours has been a teacher for 30 years. And she is a kind, hard working, compassionate teacher that genuinely loves her students and loves teaching. And she’s always dealt with spoiled kids in stride, even though you could see it weighing on her year after year. Then, one year, she gets a kid whose behavior is just completely over the top. The kid has absolutely no respect for anyone. All her lesson plans she worked so hard on so her students could learn are disrupted by this kid because he doesn’t understand how to show others respect. She sees the education of all of her students suffering because this child is so unruly and disruptive. She calls the parents repeatedly, but they brush it off as not a big deal because little Johnny is just such a cutey and his cuteness means he is innocent. After trying to involve the parents does nothing because they don’t want to face reality, the teacher turns to the school for help and support. She’s given ridiculous ideas that would never work in a practical setting in the classroom that have been developed by people that aren’t even teachers. She tries them. They don’t work. They tell her she has to deal with it and provide no help. She is left alone, dealing with this unruly, disrespectful child day after day. She tries to build a relationships with him and at times, he is very sweet, but he still disrupts her class constantly. Her frustration builds and builds as she watches all of her other students’ education suffer over this one child whose parents refuse to acknowledge there is a problem that should be dealt with. Then, one day, he gets up out of his seat and talks out loud every 3 minutes over the course of 2 hours. He grabs things out of a neighbor’s desk and laughs at the kid when he sees the kid get upset. He hangs upside down in a chair and giggles and laughs as the teacher is trying to help a student that is struggling with her reading lesson. He runs over and turns on the TV. She tells him to turn it off, but he just walks away. She goes to turn off the TV and when she turns around, cute little Johnny isn’t even in the classroom anymore. Now, she realizes her student that needs help won’t be able to get it, the threats about getting her students up to par on their standardized tests rings in her ears (because yes, a single student can cause so much disruption in a classroom that student scores are affected), all of the frustration she has felt over the past several months brew up to the surface as she walks around in the building trying to find him. Finally, he comes out of the bathroom like none of this is a big deal. And she loses it. She has so desperately wanted him to understand that his behavior IS a big deal and she grabs him and shakes him to try to get into his head that he needs to stop this.

    If that was your friend, would you say she deserves to have her entire teaching career destroyed and be convicted of criminal charges? And would you say these parents had no contribution to this event?

    I don’t know this whole story because the media purposely only gives the amount of information necessary to sensationalize something. But, I’ve worked with kids long enough that I have seen scenarios like this played out time and time again. No, she shouldn’t have grabbed him. No, she shouldn’t have shook him. And I’m sure she realizes that. I’m sure she realizes now that if she was getting that frustrated, she should have taken a couple of personal days to sit at home and rest and rejuvenate her strength. I’m sure she realizes she made a mistake that she cannot repeat and that she feels badly.

    She should be suspended, if for no other reason, to jus rest and recoup. She needs to apologize to the child. But, if it was a scenario such as this, in no way do I think she needs to face criminal charges nor do I think she should have her career ruined. If she’d thrown him on the floor and kicked him in the ribs, that’d be a different story.

    And if this is a situation with a similar scenario as I described, the parents are just as much to blame. They don’t teach their children how to treat others and create children that are unbearable to even be around. What will a kid like that be like when he gets older? That’s the more concerning question here.

    I’m telling you, I’ve seen this happen over and over again. And the parents whine like they’ve been victimized and like their child is a cute little innocent angel. Anything is possible, but I find it extremely, extremely unlikely that this kid just went to the bathroom and that was enough to provoke a seasoned teacher into that kind of reaction.

    It’s always important to have all the information before making a judgment about someone.

    • Don King

      Ex Fundie, I have a degree in Psychology, with an emphasis on Child Development and so I, too have a background in education. So with that being said, and taking all you said into consideration, I can think of absolutely no reason for ANY adult to put their hands on a child in this manner.

      If the child was, as you say is possible, very unruly and disruptive, I am positive that the school system would have in place certain procedures to deal with problematic kids. Even if this was the 20th trip to the bathroom for this boy, This was NOT the way to handle it.

      At six years old, this child poses no physical threat to this teacher, so she couldn’t even claim self defense.

      Do we know the whole story? No, we do not and in that respect you are completely correct that snap judgements should be avoided.

      However, the school system’s statement uses the phrase “repeated use of physical force.” We don’t know if that points to the several different actions this teacher performed against this child, or if “repeated” alludes to prior history.

      I also think that the parents have every right to petition the court to press charges of assault and battery against the teacher.

  • The Ex Fundie

    I didn’t say she was right. I said the exact opposite, actually. But I don’t believe her actions were criminal. The fact that something is wrong doesn’t automatically mean it’s criminal.

    A degree in psychology doesn’t in any way enlighten you to the experience of being a teacher. One of my degrees is in psychology with a focus on child development, too. If you believe that a school would certainly have policies and procedures in place to deal with an extremely disruptive child, then you don’t have much experience with the school system. I could make around 50 children I’ve known that were so disruptive, getting a class to function was nearly impossible, yet the teacher received no help or support from anyone despite multiple requests for it.

    If this is a one time incident that is out of clears her for this teacher, I think the suspension is legitimate…IF this was truly a scenario similar to what I mentioned. If she’s done it before, then I would agree with her termination. And if this was a one time situation where she got overly stressed out and lost her cool, I don’t believe she is deserving if criminal charges.

    If it is true that the parents have not properly raised this child and have not taught their child to be respectful of others, etc., then they’re causing far more harm to this child than that incident with the teacher did.

    • Don King

      If you read my first reply, I said that I have a background in education. I’ve taught before and have experience with elementary and high school discipline policy.

      In our litigious society, all schools have policies set forth to deal with all students, from simple breaking of, or not following the rules to completely disruptive kids and even violent ones. These policies profess to be for the students’ benefit, but I would say they also protect the school. As long as the school follows these procedures that they, themselves set forth, their chances of being the target of a lawsuit are lowered.

      You offer up proof that I’m wrong on this with a vague reference to 50 disruptive kids and a teacher getting no help. I don’t suppose you’d have a link to that situation, would you?

      By the way, I took the liberty to read the Riverdale School System’s Elementary Discipline Code and Elementary Student Code of Conduct. In all, there are 14 pages of discipline code, and there are exact procedures listed as to how to handle disruptive and, as I mentioned above, even violent children.

      This teacher obviously did not follow her own employers’ rules.

      You seem quick to defend this teacher, even though you say you aren’t.

      Please explain in what scenario it is okay for a teacher to place their hands on a 6 year old.