Kindergarten Teacher Fired -- For Hitting Students With Books!


kindergartenSome people are born kindergarten teachers. They're imaginative, playful, empathetic, and have limitless patience. And then there's this lady. Beverly Howard, a Jacksonville, Florida kindergarten teacher, has been fired for allegedly hitting her students with books. (I'm guessing they weren't those little paperback early reader books.) Hey, teacher, this is not how we treat books in the classroom. Or 5-year-olds. ESPECIALLY 5-year-olds.

Thank goodness a parent complained! That's all it took for the school to investigate. The assistant principal interviewed the other children (and their parents) in the class who reported getting hit, too. And the way the kids tell it, sounds like she was out of control.

One of the students said, "She hits me with the book. She grabs my arm and hits me on the leg." Oh, well, the leg ... I guess that's better than hitting them on the head? Nope, that's still terrible. I mean, hitting a kid is bad enough, but grabbing a kid by the arm, too? It conjures up the image of a kid running around the classroom. I suspect she did it because the student was being unruly, but a good teacher will maintain order in a classroom before kids start running around like Usain Bolt.

Ms. Howard already had a file for that one time in 2005 when she was overheard yelling to a student, "Get out of here before I throw you out!" Which is the exact reason why you send your child to kindergarten. Reportedly there are a few other things in her file besides that and the hitting.

Meanwhile, here's what the defiant kindergarten teacher had to say for herself. The assistant principal says Ms. Howard told her, "I am not going to write a statement because I have never hit a student. I am not hitting [student’s name]. Why would I do that in front of others? I can do what I need to do. I can contact my attorney. They don’t scare me!" Excellent, that is what EVERY bad guy in EVERY movie says in a police interrogation.

Anyway, like I said, good thing a parent complained. That parent didn't just save their own child, he or she also saved all the other kids in the class and the children in future classes from a horrible kindergarten experience with the bully teacher. Some kids complain and exaggerate, but I think it's worth investigating when a child claims they're being abused by a teacher.

How would you respond if your child told you her teacher was hitting students?

Image via 55Laney69/Flickr

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bills... billsfan1104

Right it is alleged that she hit someone. As I always say, people are innocent until proven guilty

bella... bellacazzate

Perhaps The Stir could one day share a story or two about the good things the majority of teachers are doing rather than cherry picking the oddities and sensationalizing them. I shan't hold my breath. 

mande... manderspanders

They still have books in the classroom?

Rachel Humphrey

I agree with the other people here. I guess considering I do childcare children exagurage. I have swated children for mis behaving. I grab an arm, and swat them with my hand or if I have a book I would swat them with it. Now to a child I hit them, I have also prob. gotten more thigh than butt before. It's not abuse... This is how you keep the class in line. I'm sorry if yo put all the children how miss behave in a chair for time out and they throw themselves around is that teaching following directions. No, not only are they not going to learn because you can't stop the entire class and sit with that one child to make them take time out or chase them around the room for 1/2 hour to make them take time out. So they don't end up with time out, not ONLY did they not learn but the entire class learned how to get out of following directions. The class rooms should have video to review. So you know EXACTLY what went on. Children will lie and children will exagurate and parents will exagurate also. Becuase their poor bundle of joy was punished for being bad...

zombi... zombiemommy916 son's first grade teacher is a former Army Drill Sgt...she definitely has a reputation for being incredibly strict and faaaar from warm and fuzzy...and while I do question some of her methods, she keeps those kids in line and they end up more than ready for second grade (20 pages of homework a week!!) and my rambunctious boy hasn't had a negative behavioral mark all year...this teacher sounds like a wack job though...I would be furious if she had put her hands on my child!!

work4... work4mickey

Rachel, I am a spanker, and do consider it appropriate, however, if you are going to use it to disipline in a classroom or daycare setting, you need to make sure all the parents are on board, otherwise it is legally abuse. In fact you should get the approval in writing.

If you do dot have good enough judgement to disscuss this with parents beforehand, then I would question your judgement about when spanking is appropriate and what the limits are.

A spanking should NEVER be with anything other than your palm. If you arent in enough control of yourself to put the book down, you are not calm enough to admister an appropriate spanking.

slcjcc09 slcjcc09

Rachel Humphrey...I'm shocked. I did  childcare too...2 yr olds, and I never once had to "swat" them or use any type of physical punishment and they were very well behaved.

I really wish people understood age appropriate behaviors, recognized when they were entering a petty power struggle and took the effort to recognize the source of the "misbehavior" (even on a large scale). Why is it ever okay to hit on a child? It's illegal for one to hit another adult, yet people do it to children who are learning about trust and relationships in the name of discipline? I'll never understand. 

Latasha Faupel

if a  child needs disciplined leave it up to there parents!

nonmember avatar AshleyD

Child abuse from a teacher is horrible. Spanking a child is fine. Yet my 4 year old son came home today with purple bruises on his arms and side! He was terrified to tell me what happened then finally he cried and asked not to go back to school because his teacher beats him with a pointing stick when he is bad. This is not spanking it is just down right wrong and I will be filing charges against the teacher and the school.

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