Justice

Preschool Teacher was Fired for the Appalling Way She Handled a Student

May 5th 2017

By:
Almie Rose

A photo of a teacher mishandling a student surfaced recently that has people outraged but school officials responded quickly to the controversy.

The teacher, an employee of the Alta Care Group, a non-profit that runs a Head Start program, has been fired, CNN reports.

classroom

So what exactly did this preschool teacher do?

She was photographed literally dragging a preschool-aged child down a hallway in an image that surfaced on Tuesday.

 

"We took this matter very seriously," Alta CEO Joe Shorokey said in a statement on Wednesday.

A Bay Area news station provided the full photo of the teacher from an Ohio affiliate, which was taken by another teacher who saw her "pulling a child down the hallway by the arm," WKBN reports.

teacher dragging student

"I want to make sure it is clear that the individual who was terminated does not reflect the values of the dedicated and skilled professionals at Alta Head Start," Shorokey added. "These fine teachers and aides should not be unfairly portrayed as anything less because of the person who was terminated [...] We took action immediately. We apologized to the parents, as well as to the community."

The incident, which took place in Youngstown, Ohio, is especially devastating considering Head Start is a program aimed at children from the ages of 3-5. Additionally, according to Alta Head Start's website, "children qualify for services based on federal income guidelines" which means Head Start is focused on children who may not come from privileged backgrounds.

"Qualified, credentialed teachers who are trained in best practice academic and social-emotional standards, as well as other trained support staff, provide children a preschool experience focused on school readiness skill development," according to the school's site.

Students of color are also targeted for punishment more often than their white classmates, according to The New York Times, citing data from the U.S. Department of Education in 2012.

"Although black students made up only 18 percent of those enrolled in the schools sampled, they accounted for 35 percent of those suspended once, 46 percent of those suspended more than once and 39 percent of all expulsions," the Times reports of statistics from 72,000 schools in 7,000 districts.

Though Shorokey wouldn't verify the exact age of the student, it's clear given the Head Start program and the size of the child that he or she was very young. Regardless, no child deserves to be dragged down a hallway by a teacher who is meant to protect and educate them.