SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Two Texas teachers have been placed on leave after school officials say one of them ordered more than 20 students to line up and hit a boy accused of being a bully, a district spokesman confirmed Friday.
Apparently, the more seasoned of the two Judson Independent School District teachers was trying to teach the 6-year-old a lesson, according to a report from police in the South Texas school district.
The teacher is accused of orchestrating the slugfest after a younger colleague at the elementary school went to her last month seeking suggestions on how to discipline Aiden Neely, a kindergartner she described as being a classroom bully.
The way she chose to teach Aiden “why bullying is bad,” according to the police report, was by instructing his peers to “Hit him!” and “Hit him harder!”
Prosecutors in San Antonio are reviewing the allegations and will determine whether formal charges will be filed in 30 to 60 days, said Adriana Biggs, chief of the white-collar crime division for the Bexar County District Attorney’s office.
Amy Neely, Aiden’s mother, filed an official oppression complaint against the teachers with the district police department earlier this week, district spokesman Steve Linscomb told The Associated Press on Friday.
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Messages that the AP left Friday at phone listings for an Amy Neely in San Antonio and Schertz were not immediately returned. But the mother told other media outlets that, “I don’t want this teacher to be teaching anymore,” singling out the educator accused of ordering the students to hit her son.
“She doesn’t need to be around any children,” she said.
Neely said her son is not a problem child and that this was the first she’d heard of teachers having any issues with him.
“He’s not a bully,” she said.
The mother added – and the police report confirmed – that some of Aiden’s classroom friends told him they didn’t want to hit the boy but did so because they were afraid not to.
“Twenty-four of those kids hit him and he said that most of them hit him twice,” Neely said in interviews with local media.
She said she learned about what happened to her son after a teacher who witnessed the incident and intervened went on to report it two weeks later.
The district placed both teachers on paid administrative leave and launched an investigation on May 18. District officials have not identified either teacher. The one who asked for help disciplining the boy and then waited to report the incident after witnessing it was reprimanded. The teacher who ordered the students to hit the child won’t be rehired, Linscomb said.
“We can’t have teachers acting like a loose cannon,” Linscomb said, “doing something that’s this far off the charts, doing what they feel like is teaching (students) a lesson. We’re not going to tolerate that.”