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Teacher makes 1st grader sit on floor for a month: Desk removed to punish girl

Teacher takes first grade girl's desk away and makes her sit on the floor for a month.
Teacher takes first grade girl's desk away and makes her sit on the floor for a month.
Photo by Larry W. Smith/Getty Images

After a month of a little girl being forced to sit on the floor of her first grade classroom by her teacher, the little girl tells her parents she doesn't have a desk. The parents of the little girl learned that she had drawn a picture on her desk and the desk was removed as punishment. She had been sitting on the floor of her Houston, Texas classroom for a month before telling her parents, according to “Fox and Friends” on Friday August 1.

The little girl, whose parents don’t want identified, told her parents she was afraid to tell them because she was feared she would get in more trouble, reports CBS News on July 31. The mother said she knew that her daughter had scribbled on her desk because she got an email from the teacher. The email detailed the punishment for her daughter drawing on her desk. The teacher stated that her daughter was sent to the principal’s office and she was made to wash off her desk at the time of the incident.

The child lost her recess privileges the day she drew the picture and spent the time she would normally play with the other kids in the principal’s office. The mother believed that this was the punishment her daughter received for drawing on her desk which was more than ample punishment for a first grade child.

According to USA Today, the mom was never informed that her daughter was now sitting on the floor. The mother said, “I was never told that her desk was removed.” What was this teacher thinking and where were the other adults in this school while this little girl was made to sit on the floor beneath her classmates?

The day after this first grader had made the drawing on her desk she came to school to find her desk gone. The teacher told her she had to sit on the floor and that she wouldn’t get a desk again until she went into second grade. To say the least, the parents were mortified that their daughter had been sitting on the floor of the Westwood Elementary School for a month.

The mom said that when she had asked her daughter why she didn’t tell her parents, it was because her daughter had thought she had done something so bad that she didn’t deserve the desk. She’s just a young child and kids that age can’t rationalize like an adult.

Outraged, as most parents would be, she reported the incident, which was investigated by the Spring Branch ISD. The teacher was “reprimanded for her classroom management. They also released a statement which included:

"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."

The mom pulled her daughter out of the school and enrolled her into another elementary school in town. The girl’s little brother is still in the school because his grade has been capped.

The mother, who was left feeling helpless, said:

"I mean it's like a primal instinct that you feel to protect your child. 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."

In a world where kids are bullied and chastised by other students, to put this poor child on the floor of the classroom does nothing but make her a target for the other kids. This was cruel and unusual punishment that the teacher put this child through.

It is hard to believe that other adults in the school didn't know this was happening. If this child was on the classroom floor for over a month, someone else would have had to see this. Didn't the principal visit the classroom, another teacher or even the maintenance people?

The school officials “reprimanded” the teacher for this horrendous incident, but the teacher herself doesn’t seem to believe in a verbal reprimand, or she would have practiced this with the child. This teacher’s punishment was to embarrass the child and belittle her in front of her classmates and she did this for a month.

Is this an event where a reprimand is enough? You would have a tough time finding someone to say that it is.
The mom has hired an attorney after filing a grievance with the ISD. She wants to make sure that this never happens to another child.

The article that CBS posted on this story has comments that bring up many good points. One commenter suggested this teacher was trying to break this child’s spirit. Outrage over this form of punishment is seen among the people who have made comments about this incident online.

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