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Some 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