Punishment for 1st grader: Desk taken away, forced to sit on floor

A mother is speaking out after a teacher reprimanded her first-grade daughter for drawing on her desk by taking the desk away and forcing the child to sit on the floor.

It happened at Westwood Elementary School in Houston, Texas.

The girl’s mother received an email from the teacher when the incident first happened.

“She lost her recess. She went to the principal’s office and then she had to wash the desk — and that was it. I was never told that the desk was removed,” the girl’s mother told KHOU.

The girl’s mother said the girl’s desk was gone the next day, and that the girl was reportedly told she wouldn’t be getting her desk back until second grade.

The girl sat on the floor for more than four weeks before she told her parents what was going on.

KHOU reports school officials investigated and reprimanded the teacher for her classroom management.

Meanwhile, the mom has hired an attorney and filed a grievance with school district. She also withdrew her child from the school and found a new school for her next year.

Editor’s note: The family did not want to be identified but still wanted to share their story.

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12 comments

  • Josh

    I would say cleaning, recess, and principal’s office, yes. Though the taking away of the desk, maybe for a week if the problem persisted. Not both for the first time.

  • jamiegreco

    Definitely overkill. Cleaning was entirely appropriate, as was going to the principal and losing recess if the problem was ongoing. But more than a month of punishment for a 6-year-old? This teacher needs to go back an take a classroom management course. A lawsuit is over the top though.

    • Samuel Robinson

      I believe taking away recess and making her clean the desk was sufficient for first time. Sending her to the office, over the top but within bounds. Making her sit on the floor, and now only being dealt with because she told her parents, this teacher deserves a huge punishment and the school deserves whatever they have coming. And no, the lawsuit isn’t ridiculous, the teacher’s actions were.

  • Tina Andersen

    It is funny how on some things my mother would side with the teacher but on other things my mother would side with the child! You can’t have it both ways mother! You can only side with one side and one side only!

  • Barb Kolowski

    Why is this just coming out now??? They are not in school right now down here? I wonder how old this story is.

  • Common Sense

    Schools today use the same tactics the SS used back in the 30’s. Kind of surprised the school didn’t cane her. Back when I was in school, if the teacher caught us writing on the desk, they’d tell us to erase it and maybe principles office or detention. I am so glad we have an “enlightened” society today.

    • Mary

      You’re joking right? The SS? Everything you said is completely opposite of reality.

      Excessive punishment. Cleaning, email parent, and loss of recess seem reasonable. I think even going to the principal is excessive for a first offense. If it was on going then yes.

  • MrCrabs

    Some kids need to have the consequences of their actions reinforced. I was in grade school in the 50’s when this would have been a standard form of discipline. Today everything is relative. Parents want exceptions to everything they do. That sends a message to kids. They take it to mean everything they do is acceptable or, at the least, without consequence.

  • Jeff

    If it’s one thing i learned in life, it’s that there are two sides to every story, and the media, does not do a good job at presenting both sides.

    Did the punishment fit the crime? who knows, maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. She was caught writing on the desk. Was it with a pencil? permanent marker? crayon? Was it her first offense, or the 20th offense? Did the kid have a history of bad/unwanted behavior?

    don’t judge, until you know the full story….

  • Jamie Finche

    How about when I was punished in 1st grade, it was paddled rear end, forced to sit on hard wooden desk with a throbbing butt. Kids aren’t punished these days like they were a generation ago! Today, they sit on the floor, parents have a tantrum, back then my parents said if I deserved to be paddled at school, I’d get it again at home. By the way, yes, I did indeed get another spanking at home after delivering the letter from the teacher that I had been paddled. Hurt, yes, I cried a lot, but looking back, I never got in trouble in high school. God bless parents and teachers who discipline their children!

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