A Northern California 14-year old girl is suing her gym teacher for forcing her to participate in a gym class that required her to swim in a school pool.
A video that has now gone viral shows the physical education teacher dragging the girl with her bathing suit on into the pool while she is resisting and attempting to free herself from his clutches.
According to the girl she was screaming in protest saying that her bathing suit top was coming off. Moreover, she begged the teacher not to get her hair wet because she had an engagement that night.
Danny Patterson who has worked for the school for ten years has been put on a leave of absence while the trial is pending. Paterson is being charged with misdemeanor child abuse according to a culture blog on Slate.com.
Slate reporter Alicia Harris contends that the teacher’s discipline technique has a lot to be desired. She recalls that swimming in school was traumatic for her as well. Harris remembered that her hair, which she chemically straightened when she was young, would be unmanageable from the chlorine after her swimming sessions.
Harris argues that gym class swimming, puberty for girls, and menstruation don’t mix. She concludes that it would be best that schools eliminate swimming from gym classes across the board for everyone and substitute another activity instead.
Harris writes, “Let kids get proper swimming instruction on their own time, and give them something more productive and less anxiety-ridden to do during school hours. And I’m open to suggestions for other ways to make gym class an emotionally safer space for kids.”