The parents of 14-year-old Gavin Norman, a student at Frank Black Middle School in Houston, Texas, are angry because of an incident they say took place in their son’s classroom, with the teacher’s permission.
Norman says that he was joking with his teacher, when for some reason, the teacher told Norman’s classmates to get up and slap him. The students obliged, and the teacher allegedly did nothing to stop them. Gavin tells KPRC that his classmates “were hitting me so hard that my glasses broke. I had a knot on my head.” He also says that he was crying when the other students stopped hitting him, but the teacher didn’t do anything.
The Houston Independent School District issued a statement saying that four students were disciplined, and the teacher was reprimanded. They say that the matter was referred to the district attorney’s office, but that no charges will be filed.
Norman’s parents are outraged. His stepfather, Jaime Jaso, says, “We would want the teacher to be held accountable first and foremost. Having the teacher continue his normal duties is a slap in the face. Our child’s had to see him every day knowing that this guy betrayed him.”
Incidents like this one are disturbing to everyone, but particularly to former teachers, like myself. The vast number of teachers are professional, and they conduct themselves in a professional manner. But things like this make the news, while the day in, day out work of educators largely goes unnoticed. I cannot comprehend what would make this teacher think that it was ok for students to ever put their hands on another student in this way, and most teachers I know would be as appalled at this as I am. There are good, bad, and mediocre people in all professions, but bad teachers should never be excused for their behavior, because they work with one of our most valuable groups — our children.
Here’s a report, from KPRC:
Featured image via screen capture from KPRC