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DESOTO (CBS11) – Parents of a DeSoto kindergarten student paddled without permission this week are considering legal action against the Meadows Elementary teacher.
“Any time you take a child into a room, hold their hands down, and beat them with a wooden object, it is assault!” insists Ayanna Smith. Her five-year-old son, Jalijah, was accused of sticking his tongue out at the teacher. Smith says that it was another student who accused her son who also insists he did no such thing.
Adding to the Smiths’ frustration, when they completed enrollment forms asking if they would allow corporal punishment, they not only checked ‘No’; but, circled it and added an asterisk. Now, they have a warning for other parents: “It will happen, it can happen and in this district. Signing a piece of paper means nothing—and guess what? They’re going to get away with it.”
According to Smith, prior to the paddling this week, her kindergarten son cried to go to school. Now, she says he cries fearing that she will send him back. “He’s cries, saying ‘Mommy, I don’t want to go back… because I’m scared the teacher’s going to paddle me again’.”
DeSoto is one of a handful of districts in North Texas that still allow corporal punishment—provided parents provide written and verbal consent. Clearly that did not happen with the Smiths. “I’ve called,” says Smith, who wanted the teacher fired. “I’ve done all I could with the district and what they said was nothing’s going to be done.”
DeSoto ISD’s superintendent has spoken publicly in support of corporal punishment. But, a district spokesperson Friday said he was traveling and not available for comment. Meanwhile, the family is consulting an attorney fearing that the district is not taking the matter seriously. For now, they have decided to home school while weighing their options.
“If he’s doing something wrong, he should be punished—but, not in that manner.”
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