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I have a grandchild who attends Bower’s Elementary, and I have always found it and many of its teachers to be wonderful.
Although, like anyone who read about the 5-year-old boy being teased by his teacher and other students, I found it appalling.
Even worse than the fact this took place in one of our schools is how it has been handled! Bower’s has a strict no-bullying policy that is posted on posters thru out the school.
I have been told it will not be tolerated. But when a teacher bullies and encourages other students in her class to behave in this manner, she is given a mere one day off without pay and a scathing letter from Ms. McGriff. This is absolutely insane.
I don’t care if the teacher told the students to circle this child and oink or not. She certainly instigated the situation by her own actions, then did nothing to stop it until another teacher became involved.
These facts are not in dispute.
I realize this teacher supposedly has no other incidents in her file but how many incidents never make it that far.
I am glad director of schools Toni McGriff will not defend Debbie Hayes actions but we demand more — to make sure this never happens again to another child.
A child would have received a harsher punishment than this woman did.
Parents, it is time to let Ms. McGriff and the school board know we will not tolerate this from any teacher even once. If they won’t listen, then I ask all parents in the county to refuse to let this woman teach your child.
She cannot teach if there are no students to teach. We have the right as parents to take this action to protect them.
It is time that we stop accepting a policy where bad teachers are just shuffled from school to school because it is easier than getting rid of them.
We need a school board that allows us to come with complaints against specific teachers and voice them. We do not need a board that prohibits this kind of openness.
Please, parents, this could have been your sweet little child.
I also want to commend the teacher who saw this incident and came forward and all the good teachers and staff at Bowers and all Roane county schools!
There are a great many of the good ones but it only takes one bad apple to spoil the barrel. One bad teacher, especially for a kid at this young age, can do a lot of harm.
Mary Helen Nichols