Teacher slaps my daughter

schnitzelJanuary 10, 2006

My 5th grade daughter was attempting to sign up for a club at school. She was asked by the teacher whether she would quit like she did last year, she responded that she would like to try it again at which point he slaps her once across the face. She was more stunned than hurt but we reported it to the Principal who is doing an investigation which includes the school police. They asked us what we would like done if it is found that this did happen, whether we would press charges which would lead to his arrest, termination or I guess anything else in between. Our main concern is certainly that this never happen again but we are unsure as to what punishment this act warrants. What would you do?


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Wow. I'm so sorry for your daughter, what a shock that must have been.

You need to find out if the teacher accidently hit your daughter on the face, for example, while turning around, or reaching for something.

But....... if he said whether she would quit like she did last year, then he's a lousy teacher, and I think your should press charges, and if he loses his job, it's his own fault for being such a jerk, and a very incompetent teacher. You certainly don't want to inflict him on another class of 5th graders.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 2:45PM
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Press charges! You are your daughter's advocate. That is completely out of line and he should suffer the consequences. I feel really bad for your daughter too, give her an extra hug!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 9:15AM
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While paddling existed back when I was in school, I can't think of a single situation that would justify slapping a fifth grader.

I remember the humiliation I felt at that exact same age in a much more benign situation. (I had the hiccups, raised my hand and asked to go get a drink from the waterfountain. Teacher yelled NO at the top of her lungs. Whole class turned around and laughed at me - she did it to "startle" the hiccups away, but I was so embarrassed I can still feel how flushed I got, even now, some 3 decades later).

YOUR situation is much more serious. Press charges so that your daughter can see that you are solidly in her corner. It may result in the teacher losing his job, but even without the slap, to criticize the child about a habit of quitting is a PARENT's job, not a teacher's job. I think a teacher would 'encourage' but not chastise, in this particular context. And may be she quit because of this teacher's behavior. This slap may only be the tip of the iceberg.

GOOD LUCK!! And HUGS to your daughter!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 10:15AM
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The prinicpal interviewed 3 children that happened to be there when the incident happended. She told the kids you know of the no touching or hitting rules however made no reference to say to the children did any one see anyone being slapped? Not one child spoke upto say she saw Mr. so and so slap our daughter. Now our daughter is afraid of this man & doesn't want to go to his class....I don't want anyone to lose their job but this was totally uncalled for, She has been in tears because she thinks now the principal thinks she is lying... I don't know what we should do.....

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 2:25PM
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Not being there, I'm trying to think of different possibilities that could have happened. I'm not trying to insinuate that your daughter might be lying because I don't think she is. As an outsider looking in, I think there may be a possible misunderstanding.

Is it possible that the teacher made a gesture that sort of looked like a slap, but wasn't? Like when you do the hand-pop movement to get a point across. Sometimes when you're upset, you take a situation different than was intended.

I wasn't there, but I don't see asking a student if they intend to quit as necessarily criticizing. I don't know the circumstances of why your daughter dropped out, but maybe the teacher was trying to help her. He may have been trying to make the point that when you join something, you finish it to the end.

Things we say and do when we "mean well" aren't always taken the way we meant.

If the teacher was slapping your daughter around because he was feeling all high and mighty, then, yes, he should be fired. I'm wondering if what he did was actually meant to be helpful. It didn't come out the way he meant it.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 3:14PM
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This sounds like major intimidation to me. The other kids who supposedly witnessed the slap are probably terrified to speak up, really can you blame them, they're 5th graders! If this were my child I would be demanding a meeting with the principal and the teacher until I got to the bottom of this problem. I wouldn't want to go to this guy's class if I was your daughter either.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 9:37AM
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Principles have a nasty way of not just coming out and saying "Did the teacher slap Susie?" Instead they word things, like you say she did about the no touching or hitting and in these kid's minds, he didn't touch or hit. Slapping is not "no touching" and "hitting". It is different. Then you could try and talk to the kids yourself, or even the parents. But then I also know there are parents who are afraid to get involved because they don't want the teacher taking it out on their kids. That always surprises me because they would rather have their kids with horrible teachers than complain.

I would press charges.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 9:40AM
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They have to come right out and say "Did the teacher slap Susie".

They can't just be vague like that and call it an investigation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GEEZ i'm irritated over that.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 12:14PM
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I'm upset about this too. Your poor daughter deserves better treatment from a teacher and the school. If you are confident that she is telling the truth, I would pursue it further. Contact the school board if you need to.

I had a incident with a male teacher in the 5th grade and it really stayed with me.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 2:09PM
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IF this had been some stranger would you press charges...YES. We put up with actions from people we know or have "authority" that we would NEVER put up with if that person were a stranger. We are intimidated by them in a way. That is not a good excuse. It doesn't matter that you know the person (or that it's a teacher). A slap on the face is uncalled for. Push this issue.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 8:03AM
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I hope nobody finds this insulting.
I'm not saying this did not happen, but when children are involved, sometimes, a fib can get away from them. And they are too afraid to recall it.
And the principal asked correctly. I've read a book, that children are so highly susceptible to certain language, that they will actually start to believe things that did not happen, just because they were asked outright about certian scenarios.
I also think if the teacher did do this --- he should be fired!!! (If he is'nt protected by teacher unions...). What if he hits another child harder?
Hope nobody is offended, just tried to give my opinion.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 6:08PM
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Thank you everyone for your posts & opinions. We decided that although she still has him for drama, she is to tell us if anything else abnormal or unusual happens with this teacher... Finally, one child said she did see our daughter slapped by the teacher but thought it was playful...again, we think that it is how the principal worded it....But when I tell you my gut instinct ( only a mother's feeling) that there is just something about him that seems strange. Even other kids have remarked about it...The principal did say she would talk to him and what she said I don't know......

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 8:20PM
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I just joined this forum after reading this particular post so that I could post something in response to it.
It angers me that a teacher would place his/her hands on a student in any manner other than that of some kind of aid. I don't care what the excuse, this teacher should NOT have slapped your daughter in the face. "In a playful manner" as a student suggested, is ridiculous and regardless if it was "playful" should definitely be made an issue of as far as I'm concerned. There are things you don't do as a teacher or someone in an authoritative position. What was the purpose of it? And as someone else mentioned, the fact that this teacher asked "are you going to quit like you did last year" is a really miserable thing to say. I know this was quite a while back according to the date of the last post, but I really think it's worth at the very least taking a mental note of what you'd do if ever it happened again with this teacher or another. (or anyone for that matter) Not saying go out for "blood" and get him fired, but demanding at least a simple apology would be better than nothing at all. Just my two cents.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 1:11PM
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I know that it is July, now, and this happened back in January.

I hope the situation is resolved for you and your daughter.

I think the teacher has upset your daughter, and he should apologise for upsetting her, no matter what happened. I cant imagine a good teacher would want one of his students being frightened of them, he should want to resolve it, if he was a decent teacher.

Perhpas you should have spoken to him directly?

Anyway I am sure its all resolved now and you are probably sick of the whole thing and want to move on.

But I guess it is a good opportunity for you to talk to your daughter about how she could have handled the situation herself, and talking about feelings etc. All good life expriences for you to learn about.

Very upsetting, teachers can have a big impact on children, and those thoughts stay with you forever, dont they ?

All the best to your little girl.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 6:26PM
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I can't even believe that you would second guess this one.It is a no brainer. No one has the right to lay a hand on a child that is not their own. And sometimes that is questionable.I remember being in school and slapped by a teacher and also having my hair pulled, not what a child expects from someone who is supposed to guide you through your formable years.He claimed he was just having a bad day.Yeah well it messed me up pretty bad, enough to make want to drop out of school.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 6:34PM
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