shutterstock_3969124I always try to see a teacher’s side when a news story surfaces about an alleged infraction he or she may have committed. I can’t imagine being in charge of a room full of grade schoolers, and I doubt it’s an easy task. But I just can’t understand what made this Houston teacher think taking a desk away from a first grader and forcing her to sit on the floor for weeks was okay.

The young girl doodled on her desk. The teacher at Westwood Elementary intended to force her to sit on the floor for the remainder of the school year. After four weeks of sitting on the floor, the first grader finally mentioned it to her parents. Can you imagine?

The teacher sent an email to the child’s mother, detailing the punishment she would receive. The message claimed the girl lost recess for the day, was made to wash the desk, and had to visit the principal’s office. There was no mention of her desk being removed. The girl apparently returned to school the day after the drawing incident to find her desk gone. Her teacher told her she wouldn’t get it back until second grade. The mother spoke to USA Today:

“I asked her,’Why did you not tell me?’ and she said, ‘I was too scared to tell you, Mama,’” the mother said. “She thought what she had done was so bad she didn’t deserve to have a desk.”

“I mean it’s like a primal instinct that you feel to protect your child,” she said. “The fact that I sent her there every day not knowing that that’s what she was going into because nobody made me aware, it’s horrible.”

How did no one in the school notice this? It’s been a long while since I was in grade school, and my kids aren’t of age yet – but I seem to remember principals and other administrators dropping into class occasionally. How did this go undetected?

The teacher has been reprimanded and the mother is transferring her daughter to a new school next year. The mom has hired an attorney and filed a grievance with Spring Branch ISD, because she says she doesn’t want this to happen to another student. I don’t blame her. This is inexcusable. The teacher’s actions show a lack of common sense – and it was just downright mean. I wouldn’t want my child taught by someone like that.

(photo: Mike Flippo/ Shutterstock)