A handful of parents recently accused Texas public school employees of either bullying or abusing their children. School districts say they take these complaints very seriously and investigate them thoroughly.
In the Klein Independent School District, the mother of a special needs kindergarten student claimed a teacher’s aide hit her daughter in the head with a shoe last week. The girl’s mother, MacKeisha Wade, told KPRC on Saturday the girl said she got in trouble for not staying in her seat at school. The alleged incident occurred on October 25 when a substitute teacher filled in.
“She hit my child in the head with a shoe,” Wade told the Houston TV news outlet. “Now she won’t go to school. She’s scared.”
Wade voiced her concerns that the alleged incident happened in a special needs classroom for kindergarten and first grade students, of which five were nonverbal and could not speak out. Wade told KPRC she had not decided if her child would return to McDougle Elementary school.
In a statement, Klein ISD responded, in part: “We are actively investigating the claim. Due to the serious nature of the allegation, the aide was removed from the classroom pending the outcome of the investigation.”
Also last week, in Mullin ISD, a parent accused a staff member of bullying her son. She removed him from the school, claiming it was for his safety. KXXV reported the teen said, for roughly a year, he endured name-calling and people throwing objects at him. He said sometimes this left marks on him. The family, fearful of reprisals, did not identify themselves on camera although the mother said she wanted other parents to know what they experienced at Mullin High School.
“This has really traumatized these kids,” said the mother. The teen will finish his final year of school in another undisclosed district. His siblings also transferred.
KXXV underscored this was the second family in two months to come forward and accuse Mullin ISD employees of bullying students. In September, they reported on the Spivey family, who reported plans to sue the school district. The parents claimed a cafeteria worker poisoned their son’s food following a series of incidents. It appears the issue came to a head when the boy’s mother, Serena Spivey, insisted she tried to confront the lunch lady at a school volleyball game but instead got attacked by the worker and two other women with her, one who reportedly held a baby. The Mills County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the altercation ended with multiple arrests from both parties, according to KXXV.
Then, Spivey claimed the problems escalated and the cafeteria worker made constant threats to poison her son’s food. The father, Gary Spivey, told KXXV the boy suddenly got sick after eating school meals. They believed the worker followed through with the alleged threat.
Subsequently, KXXV reported school officials said the nine-year staffer in question was “in good standing” and they implemented guidelines for her to follow to keep her job. One was to stay away from the Spivey family.
Mullin ISD responded to both bullying complaints on their website. While they stated they took the matters seriously, their investigations found the allegations had “no merit.” In the Spivey claim, the district maintained the employee in question did not directly serve any students food items. “Our cafeteria staff pre-fills trays and the students select their food items from those trays.” Regarding the high school senior, Mullin ISD claimed: “Numerous employees and students were questioned and not one witness statement corroborates the allegations made.”
They provided no further insight into the “on-going bullying investigations,” citing a federal privacy law that keeps student information confidential. Likely, they meant the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA).
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