Teacher disciplined after forcing 1st grader to sit on floor for month because of drawing on desk

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HOUSTON -- A Houston mother is furious after finding out her first grader was forced to sit on the floor at school. The punishment went on for more than a month before the mother found out about it.

The student goes to Westwood Elementary.

"We talked about it's not appropriate to write on school property or anyone's property for that matter, and she said, 'Yes of course,'" said the girl's mom, who refused to give her name.

The mother said the teacher told her that punishment was to clean the desk, miss recess and go to the principal's office, but there was one more penalty mom said was never mentioned.

"The teacher said you're not getting a desk back until the second grade," the mom said.

All her classmates had a desk and chair, but the 7-year-old sat on the floor with a clipboard for more than four weeks.

"I asked her why did you not tell me, and she said I was too scared to tell you mama because she thought what she had done was so bad she didn't deserve to have a desk," the mom said.

The school district investigated and said the teacher was reprimanded for her classroom management and that the family has been offered multiple opportunities to transfer their child, either to another teacher within the school or to any elementary school in the district where enrollment is not capped.

This mom chose to withdraw her daughter and has picked another school for the new year. The girl's little brother can't go with her because his grade is capped.

The whole experience has left this mom feeling helpless.

"I mean it's like a primal instinct that you feel to protect your child and the fact that I sent her there every day not knowing that that's what she was going into because nobody made me aware it's horrible."



  • Tkume

    When i as in the 3rd grad and i wrote on my desk and i had to sit on the floor for 4 weeks and punishment. I also had 3 days ISS. It’s a punishment for doing somthing you where told not to do. What the hell is wrong with people these days don’t coddle the kids the teacher was n the right.

    • Gordy Massey

      I seriously hope you have no children and if you do I hope somebody reading this checks you out. Humiliated every school day for 4 weeks!!, for writing on a desk!!??!! You have some serious issues.

  • annpirie

    There needs to be discipline. Kids just can’t go around running rampant doing whatever they feel like doing. Witness young adults who were obviously not disciplined. They are taking over our world. Respect for authority begins very young. My dad told me when I went to kindergarten that if I had a problem with a teacher, the teacher would be right. Now days, I am not so sure, but at least it teaches respect.

  • deedee

    In second grade at the Elihu Greenwood School, Hyde Park, MA Miss Shea, the teacher, (who would never let you use the restroom by the way), punished a boy who had an accident by putting him in the window with a for sale sign tied around his neck! I cried silently as there was not a thing we could do! That was 50 years ago. Parents, make sure this never happens to your children because I know that there are still mean spirited teachers out there!! You have to fight for your children and ask questions constantly!!,

  • Anonymous

    this is so wrong for any teacher to do.. yes punish the child but don’t hide what you are doing from the parents! i would be very upset as well the teacher knew she was in the wrong and this is why that part of the punishment was not mentioned! Coddling your child and sticking up for them is two different things, This mother is right and i would do the same thing with my child. There are mean teachers out there I was victim to teacher/student abuse and I would never let my child go through what I did…This really makes me mad!!!

  • Mariah Canfield-Jones

    I had the teacher who forced me to go to art classes after she saw me doodling in elementary school, then again, I never doodled on school property, i just had a teacher who though I needed to learn to draw. I also had a teacher in first grade who was angry that I was left handed and not right handed like the rest of the class. She kept putting my pencil in my right hand, “write like that, not like this,” my mom wasn’t too happy about that. I wasn’t pulled from the class, the teacher was told she can’t tell a kid to write who is left handed to write with their right hand, it was impossible, then we found out that the teacher was from a Catholic school originally and said that i was going to go to hell if I didn’t write the way she taught me. I was glad when first grade was over, the teacher was fired.

    Wonder if anyone thought to do what my art teacher did, “If you’re going to doodle, at least doodle on paper,” he gave me a sketch book with at least 100 pieces of paper. Clearly someone should have thought to let the little girl be an artist.

  • dougsmith42

    I had to sit in the corner of the classroom one time in 2nd grade for doing something wrong. 40 years later I still remember… lesson learned. A simple call to the parent, obviously was not enough.

  • Rain

    My third grade teacher put my desk in a lit closet no bigger than an outhouse and I had to sit in there the whole school year for being “to chatty”. It still haunts me to this day and I’m 36….

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