Abusive School Teacher Should be Dismissed.
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23 years ago, when I was 9 years old, my 4th grade teacher at Ponce de Leon Elementary beat me. She blamed the power behind her swings on a damaged rotator in her shoulder. Yesterday, I was informed that same teacher will be taking over my son's kindergarten class after students and faculty return from Christmas break because his current teacher will be moved to teach a second grade class. I made a request to the principal that my son be transfered to another class and she agreed. The problem with this is he has made such great progress with his teacher. My son failed kindergarten last school year because he is very introverted and shy. He cried almost every day that he went to school and he struggled to participate in classroom activities and school work, even though he was silently soaking in all the knowledge his teacher was giving the class. He would pout/sulk all morning until close to lunchtime. His teacher did her best to comfort him and help him open up, but he barely spoke to anyone at school. This school year he is like a totally different child with his current teacher. She has opened him up and told me he is usually a leader in class discussions and work, and he is often the first one finished with assignments. Transferring him to another class would be the easiest plan of action to keep him away from my abuser, but I'm afraid it will ruin his progress and cause a major backslide.
Let me explain why Deborah Padgett-Paulk beat me. I was one of the first kids to be picked up by the bus so I had a pretty long ride to school. I fell asleep that morning and when the other kids woke me up to unload at the school I forgot to get my backpack in my sleepy state. The only item of school work in the backpack was a study guide for social studies that we completed as a class activity the day before. She called me outside the portable building classroom to paddle me with her neighboring teacher for a witness. She gave me the max amount of "licks" -4- with her paddle. She told me if I moved, cried, or said anything that she would give me another "lick". She hit me hard each time and it was very hard to try to hold back tears from the stinging for fear of being hit again. It felt like my butt cheeks were on fire. My butt became more sore throughout the day. We had a pizza party for Girl Scouts after school. I couldn't sit on my butt because it hurt so bad. I had to tuck one leg under the back of my thigh on the other leg in order to sit down without sitting on my butt. I remember going in the bathroom of the cafeteria to look at my butt and see what was wrong and I remember the other girls' reactions to the bruising. When my mom picked me up from the pizza party I couldn't sit in the front seat with her, I had to crawl in the back seat to lay down and cry. By the end of the day the bruises were a deep black and purple color. I remember having to drop my pants many times and show my butt to numerous people for the next few weeks because the bruises lasted for weeks. I had to show the principal, that abusive teacher and other school faculty, DCF investigators, police officers at the Sheriff's department had to photograph my butt, and I had to lay on a table and let my doctor spread my cheeks while he put a ruler between them to measure the bruises and how deep they were. The super intendant at that time came to visit my family at our home and attempted to bribe my parents. He offered for my baby brother and I to be "anything at school that we wanted to be." In exchange for silence. He did not get what he wanted from us. Dcf told my parents that school systems were out of their jurisdiction back then. The sheriff's department said the same thing. My grandmother got media coverage by holding a sign and chaining herself to a bench at Walmart. My parents finally got an attorney out of Ft. Walton to take the case but the statute of limitation eventually ran out so no action was ever taken against the woman who beat me over such a small thing. I healed, I grew up, life went on, and then one night about 10/11 years ago I got a phone call that a parent had contacted my mother for advice because this same teacher had beat her son. I wasn't the only child beaten by this teacher. Were there others? WHY IS SHE STILL EMPLOYED IN A SCHOOL SYSTEM? WHY HAS NO ACTION EVER BEEN TAKEN? 23 years later and this abuse is back to haunt me and disrupt my children and my niece who is the same class with my son. This may not make a difference, especially so many years later. My voice alone is probably not loud enough to be heard so I'm asking all parents with children in the Holmes County school system, do you really want your children to be exposed to this teacher?
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