When should I talk to the school about a teacher harrassing my child?
May 5, 2014 5:46 PM Subscribe
My 14 year old said his teacher placed (put?) (stuffed?) toilet paper in his mouth, to punish him for talking in class. This incident happened about two months ago; should I say something now, or wait until school is out (in 4 weeks?) details inside.
You are not my lawyer. The story is, my son and his friend finished taking the science test, and were talking to each other. The teacher gave them a warning, and they stopped, but started talking again. The teacher said something to the effect of "since you have diahrrea of the mouth, put this in your mouth", reached into his desk, and grabbed a roll of toilet paper. He proceeded to tear off a wad and tried to hand it to my son so that my son could put the wad into his own mouth. My son refused, and the teacher said something to the effect of "open wide." My son then said something to the effect of "ok, give it to me, I'll put it in", at which point the teacher again said something to the effect of "open wide." My son opened his mouth, and the teacher placed the wadded up toilet paper in his mouth, as well as the mouth of the other student that was talking. At this point, my son said that he chewed the wad down a bit (because he felt like gagging), then got up and walked to the trash can to spit it out. At this point, the teacher returned to his desk, and the class continued without incident. According to my son, at least 10 students turned around and witnessed this event.
I've consulted with a few people I trust, as well as an attorney I know, to get their thoughts. Most of my family and friends are outraged, and think that I should talk to the principal immediately; they all feel that is definitely misconduct on the part of the teacher, and that the teacher should be punished in some way (ranging from a reprimand to dismissal.) The one dissenting opinion on this matter comes from the attorney, who thinks I should wait out the 4 weeks, and then, once the grades are in, go talk to the principal about the incident. He thinks that since things are currently going well for my son in that class, I run the risk of creating a hostile environment for my son if I intervene now (my son has expressed a fear of retribution on the part of the teacher; that's why I didn't find out about this until last Friday.) the attorney also thinks that this is probably not assault (from a legal standpoint), but is almost definitely harrassment (according to the statues of my state.)
So, should I talk to the principal now? or wait until school is out? My son will be going to high school next year (6th-8th grade is middle school here), so he won't be back, but still think that this definitely needs to be addressed, to ensure that it doesn't happen to future students. And, if I'm being honest, I'm not going to let that teacher get away with doing things like that to students. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and opinions!