Thursday, April 24, 2008

What is wrong with this picture?

Now I ran across this in the AJC on yesterday. I was shocked that a parent and a child would go and jump on a teacher. This is the second incident I have heard of in the past month and I am sure there are more.  What are these parents teaching their kids? This is extremely sad. With the shortage of good teachers why would a person do something like this?

UPDATED: 6:56 p.m. April 22, 2008
Mother, daughter charged with attacking Atlanta teacher

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 04/22/08

Police arrested a high school student and her mother on battery and other charges after the girl’s teacher was brutally attacked.

Atlanta police charged Georgia Thornton and her daughter Sequita with attacking Felecia Williams, a teacher at Southside High School, on Feb. 28.
The mother, 44, was charged with battery on a school teacher, disrupting public schools, criminal trespass and theft by taking in connection with the attack, according to the police report.

Sequita, 17, was charged with battery on a teacher and disrupting public schools, according to the report. Atlanta school officials also permanently expelled the girl and ordered her to pay $500 toward the teacher’s medical expenses, said Joe Manguno, spokesman for Atlanta Public Schools.

Williams said Tuesday she had met with Thornton previously to discuss Sequita’s grades and sporadic attendance. Williams asked a school police officer to observe a meeting a couple of weeks before the incident because she was afraid for her safety, she said.

On the day of the attack, Williams said the pair walked into her classroom during first period and began arguing about a book. Williams asked them to leave, but the mother pushed past her and grabbed a book off her desk, the teacher said.

When Williams, 40, tried to get the book back, the mother pulled the teacher’s hair and threw her to the ground, the police report said. Then the mother and daughter stomped on the teacher, according to the report.

“She was swinging me by my hair, and my shoes flew off my feet,” Williams said. “Then I was on the ground, and they were both pounding on me. I was terrified. So were my students.”

Georgia Thornton disputed the facts in the police report Tuesday and said Williams hit her daughter on the day of the incident. Thornton said she had been meeting with Williams because the teacher wouldn’t give her daughter the correct grade.

“That teacher, she had it in for my daughter,” Thornton said. “I raised my daughter not to disrespect adults, so I took care of this situation. Yes, I hit her. I do what I have to do to protect my child at all costs.”

The attack against Williams is among several violent acts against metro area teachers this year.

In January, Gwinnett school police charged a seventh-grade girl with simple battery after school officials say the girl beat a teacher so violently she broke the woman’s glasses.

A note circulating in the Tri-Cities area in south Fulton describes attacks against six teachers at Paul West Middle in East Point over the past two years. No one signed the letter and school leaders say they don’t know who wrote it.

Susan Hale, spokeswoman for Fulton schools, said a couple of the incidents described were initiated by teachers who grabbed students’ arms to pull them in or out of classrooms. Another attack occurred when a teacher walked into a special education classroom to help a co-worker and was smacked with a chair thrown by a student with emotional and behavioral disorders, Hale said.

There’s increased hostility against teachers as some students become more brazen, said Mark Perez, the Fulton County representative for the Georgia Association of Educators.

“We expect there to be a system in place to protect them from this violence,” Perez said. “We are seeing people leave the profession because of this.”

Teachers who have been attacked say it is difficult to return to work.

Williams has not returned to work since the attack and doesn’t expect to go back this school year. She said she has severe neck and back pain. She suffers from panic attacks and is consulting a doctor.

She’s been teaching for 15 years. This is her first year at Southside High where she’s teaching a new class, video broadcasting.

“I love teaching and see myself going back to work,” Williams said. “But it won’t be at Southside.”

Williams said school officials didn’t do enough to prevent or break up the attack.

The school district declined to provide additional information about the incident because of the possibility of a lawsuit, Manguno said.

Posted by loni on 04/24 at 07:56 AM
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