1st Grader Forced to Sit on Classroom Floor — for Weeks
byKaitlin StanfordAug 01, 2014
It all started one day about a month ago, when a little girl sat in her first-grade class at Westwood Elementary School in Houston, and started daydreaming. With her pencil in hand, she began drawing an intricate scene of a little girl sitting on a tree swing — that is, until her teacher caught her.
Now, as far as breaking the rules goes, doodling on your desk sounds like pretty benign, normal kid stuff, right? Apparently not for this girl's teacher. After reprimanding the girl for her drawing, the teacher made the little girl clean the desk immediately, apologize to the janitor and even spend some time in the principal's office. But while the girl's mother was made aware of all that when the incident first occurred, there was one last bit to the punishment that she was not let in on — and was shocked to hear many weeks later.
According to KTRK, the little girl was told she "couldn't have a desk until the second grade," and was forced to do her work while sitting on the floor for the rest of the school year, with only a clipboard to write on. The punishment left her so ashamed by what she'd done, that she only revealed it to her mother after it had been going on for four weeks.
"She thought what she had done was so bad [that] she didn't deserve to have a desk," her mother told KHOU, asking that both her name and her daughter's not be shared.
In the wake of the incident, the family has filed a grievance with the school, who they say didn't do enough after learning of the teacher's actions. Meanwhile, they are seeking to transfer their daughter and their other child from the school.
"Apparently, the district's position is that the teacher has been reprimanded and that should be enough," read a statement from the family’s attorney, which was shared with the Houston Chronicle. "I doubt that will bring this little girl comfort when she wakes up with nightmares and worries that her second-grade teacher will treat her the same way next year."
But for their part, the school district says the appropriate actions were taken and the teacher was thoroughly reprimanded.
In a statement shared with Houston's News 92 FM station, the school said: "Spring Branch ISD has investigated the circumstances regarding the classroom management at one of our elementary schools. As the parents have acknowledged, the teacher involved has been appropriately reprimanded. The family has been offered multiple opportunities to transfer their child, either to another teacher within the school or to any elementary school in the District where enrollment is not capped, but instead they chose to file a grievance."