Second-grade bully gets teacher suspended
Even second grade teachers run out of patience at times. Elaine Brown has taught elementary school for fifteen years at Oakhurst Elementary School in California. In November, 2010 some of her students told her about a classmate bully.
The kids reported a history of aggressive behavior by a seven year old boy. He reportedly choked and kicked some kids, pushed others down and spit on them, left a bruise on the side of another child’s face and threatened some with his fists. The last straw was when he threatened to bring a gun to school to kill a classmate.
Ms. Brown brought her concerns to the attention of the parents, principal and school district. In her opinion, the officials failed to act fast enough. Two days after making her report, she notified the sheriff’s office. She wanted to obtain a restraining order against the child but was told they weren’t issued for children.
The school felt that Ms. Brown failed to follow the school’s bullying policies. She was placed on paid leave while the matter is under investigation. The school superintendent said that she’ll most likely return to the classroom. Ms. Brown was reinstated in January, 2011. She commented that when she returned to her classroom the children hugged her so hard she was almost knocked down.
Should a comment by a seven year old about bringing a gun to school be taken seriously? If, as in this case, a teacher reports a student as a threat, is that the end of the teacher’s responsibility? Are there situations when a teacher should do more if no action is taken by his/her superiors?