Gavin Norman, a 14-year-old student at Frank Black Middle School in Houston, Texas, is speaking out about a traumatic incident that allegedly occurred in his classroom and was “encouraged” by his teacher.
Norman’s parents are living out an uncomfortable fantasy most parents have throughout the span of their young child’s life: What if someone hurt my son or daughter — physically hurt them — how would I react?
For Gavin’s mother Skyler and his stepfather, Jaime Jaso, the answer to this question is “furiously.”
Skyler told KPRC 2 that she was “pretty upset.”
“I was trying not to explode. That kind of rage, I don’t know how to handle that,” she said.
So what exactly was the incident?
Apparently, Gavin Norman told reporters, he was joking back-and-forth with his teacher in class when the male teacher encouraged classmates to slap the boy repeatedly.
Gavin, expecting basic horseplay, knew it wasn’t fun and games any longer when one of the boys hit him so hard it broke his glasses. Through it all, he said, the teacher encouraged the boys to continue and then didn’t punish them when Gavin started crying.
“I was crying when they got done hitting me and teacher didn’t do anything,” he said.
The Houston Independent School District issued a statement on the heels of the Norman family’s complaint stating that “four middle school students” were disciplined for their behaviors and that the teacher involved was “reprimanded.” From there, the claims were investigated by police and passed along to the Harris County District Attorney’s office, which declined to pursue charges.
The teacher will continue to be employed by the district, and for the Norman family, that just isn’t good enough. They are weighing their legal options, the news site reports.
This case is reminiscent of another teacher-encouraged “slapping” incident (also in Texas) where an alleged class bully was allegedly targeted by the teacher, who told each of the other 24 students in her kindergarten class to slap the boy.
In that case, reported here by ABC News, the teacher did lose her job.
In a previous report from the Inquisitr, there was yet a third incident in which a teacher reportedly encouraged her students to slap a child for not doing the assigned homework. That resulted in around 40 slaps to the face.
What do you think about this disturbing trend, readers? Should teachers that engage in this sort of behavior ever be allowed to teach again? And do you think Gavin Norman and his family should sue? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via KPRC 2, linked above]