A middle school student and teacher had a verbal dissagreement and the student was asked to leave the classroom and wait outside. The student did as told by the teacher. The student was still outside when the teacher slammed the door closed in the student's face. The student opened the door to say something to the teacher and the teacher pushed the student away from the door causing the student to stumble backwards hitting a railing and closed the door again. No serious physical harm was done however it is my understanding that a teacher is not allowed to use physical force like this.
When the class was questioned about the incident 2/3 of the students who were paying attention reported that they saw the teacher push the student. We have written witness statements by the students.
There is a lot more to this story, things like the VP telling certain students not to use the words "pushed or shoved" in their witness reports and another student was not allowed to comment on the teacher pushing the student at all. The VP initially refusing to get witness statements from the whole class as requested by the family. The VP threatening to have the student arrested for causing a disruption in the class. The VP overheard making light of the situation saying that the family was "going to go to President Bush...no, GOD!" The VP leaving a voicemail later appologizing for being unreasonable and saying that the family was being reasonable (this after the family went to the principal with the above details).
The child was put on a 2 day suspension although the family asked that the suspension be delayed until all of the class had a chance to comment on the situation. The reason for the suspension is because the student supposedly caused a disruption in the class because the other students clapped after she finished having her say. 5 of the witness statements specifically mention the tone of voice of the student as being calm, not yelling, just loud enough for the class to hear. The argument between the student was a result of the teacher repeatedly cutting the student off before the student could finish asking a question. This had been happening all year to this student as well as many others. The teacher told the student she was being rude and the student said the teacher was the one being rude. After the student was told to leave the class the student replied that she wasn't the only one who felt the teacher was rude and that is when the class applauded the student as a "thank you" for standing up for not just herself but for all of the class as well. (18 of the 29 students who wrote some sort of statement about that day said that the teacher repeatedly cut the student off in the middle of her question. There are a total of 29 witness statements but only 18 of those students were paying attention, the other 11 students either had left the room or weren't paying attention to the situation.)
The teacher's version of the story is different of course and claims that the student spoke to her in a very intimidating manner. It even includes a lie saying that the student didn't go to the time-out room when in fact the student did exactly as directed, and as soon as the bell rang for that period to be over, she stepped outside, was applauded again by the students, then she went directly to the school police officer to file a complaint and the officer escorted the student to the vice principal's office to file the complaint.
Initially the vice principal and principal were not very cooperative until the family said they had no other way to resolve this other than going to Law Enforcement to file charges against the teacher. That afternoon the school officials got much nicer and cooperative, getting witness statements and appologizing.
Long story short, the teacher was mad at the student and pushed her away from the door causing the student to stumble back and go into a railing. The teacher has denied laying a hand on the student however 12 of the 18 students that were paying attention during the time of the incident reported seeing the teacher push the child.
This teacher has been in the school system for over 30 years and is probably fed up with the kids and just lost her temper but she lied about her actions, caused grief for the student and family, and should be held accountible for her actions. Pushing a child is not the right way to handle the situation. In fact, propper protocol in this school system for a child who is truly out of control is for the teacher to call for an administrator to come and remove the child from the classroom.
How should this family proceed? They are upset that the child now has a suspension on permanent record when the suspension seems to have been done in haste.