Monday, May 9, 2011
Help Me Howard: Teacher Bully
Bullying in schools is a problem, but we don't hear about this kind too ofter. A school employee who is being accused of going after a little third grade girl, but is it bullying or discipline and can the employee get away with it? It's why the parent called Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- George Foreman the boxing great the supergrill promoter who to put it mildly likes his name.
Lonnie Jones is not as famous as George.
Lonnie Jones: "I wish I had George's money."
But the two men share one thing, they enjoy giving their children their name.
Lonnie Jones: "Lonnie the third. Jarvis. Lonniesha."
And right now its the youngest Lonnie that concerns the elder Lonnie.
Lonnie Jones: "She said 'Daddy, I got something to tell you.'"
Lonnie told her father she was being bullied at her private school. Not by a student, by the schools nurse.
"It was really like crazy. I got upset, I got angry. I felt disappointed in the school because I felt so much and so highly of the school."
The first incident happened when Lonnie started to put her leftover lunch in the garbage. The third grader says the nurse grabbed her.
Lonnie Jones: "Squeezed her arm hard. Yanked her and pulled her towards her and took her back to her seat."
Lonnie reported the incident to the school and the police. Then another problem with the same employee when little Lonnie let her know her milk was sour.
Lonnie Jones: "Told her she had to drink her milk in that mean tone of voice and my daughter drunk the milk. Even though tasted bad she said it was sour."
Lonnie complained to the school again, obviously the nurse heard about it and let his daughter know that she knew.
Lonnie Jones: "She grabbed my daughters backpack lunch bucket and slammed it down on the table and said 'now go and tell your daddy about this.'"
If you have a young child, you can guess how the bullying from an adult would affect them.
Lonnie Jones: "My daughter feel embarrassed in front of her peers and in front of her classmates, and she cried and she felt really hurt."
Lonnie and his daughter loved the school, but what he calls the bullying by the employee has left her afraid to go to school.
Lonnie Jones: "I'm sure she's nervous. She seems to be nervous and not happy everyday when she go to school."
Well Howard a child cannot bully another student, can a school employee do this or is it considered strict discipline?
Howard Finkelstein: "Moderate physical force to maintain discipline is allowed in Florida, but this is bullying, its humiliating and it may well be a crime whether its a public or a private school because it has the potential to inflict physical and emotional harm to the child."
We then contacted the school but they would not return our calls. A few days later, Lonnie says the nurse disappeared from the school and he was told she was fired.
The school finally called us back and told us they do not believe that young Lonnie was bullied by anyone at the school. That the nurse was not an employee, was a volunteer and was not fired. That she had quit on her own. Howard says if your child is treated like this dont accept it.
Howard Finkelstein: "Listen to your child first talk to the teacher about their behavior or the bullying students behavior if that fails, go the principal if its a public school go to the superintendent just do something because the damage to your child can last a lifetime."
Lonnie says bottom line he hopes this is a lesson to everyone who deals with kids it's the adults who should know better.
Lonnie Jones: "For an adult to do that for a child and know better and put in this setting and this profession that's bizarre. That's sickening."
Patrick Fraser: "We can probably all remember bullys in school, but it seems much worse today. In fact, all too often you read of a child that commits suicide from bullying. Like Howard says, talk to your child. If they are being bullied, get it, stopped before it gets worse."
Battling a problem that is trying to beat you down? Dont cry? Call us, We will help you fight back and school em in the process.
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