It's hard to believe a high school educator would kick or insult a child, but that's what happened to this 14-year-old girl. Hear her mom's side of the story.
Recently, a Mount Miguel High School student was abused and humiliated by her teacher in front of the class. Her family is suing the school for $75,000 for pain and humiliation. In her first time speaking out, her mom Jena Ray talked to momlogic about the day she and her daughter will never forget.
Momlogic: How did you find out about what happened to Jade?
Jena Ray: When I got a call from Jade's vice principal, he told me she had come into his office crying because her teacher had kicked her. She had walked into chorus class where they were selecting students to deliver Valentine's Day grams and Jade asked why she wasn't picked to participate. Her teacher told her, "Look at you, you look a mess. And you're not wearing your shirt." Apparently, Jade didn't know she needed a special shirt so asked how much they were. When the teacher informed her they were $15, Jade said, "For those? They aren't worth $15.00."
The teacher got mad and said, "Get out of here!" Then, the teacher called her "ugly" and told her to leave. My daughter got up and started to walk out of the class, and suddenly felt a swift kick on her butt. She turned around and realized the teacher had kicked her because she wasn't moving fast enough. Her teacher then slammed the door in my daughter's face.
Momlogic: What was your reaction?
Jena Ray: I was furious -- I just couldn't believe it. The vice principal said he would look into the incident; however, my husband and I came immediately to get our daughter where we found her in the office, still crying. The teacher actually walked into the office and I asked her, "How could a teacher do this to a child?" She replied that she "just lost it".
Momlogic: How has this taken a toll on Jade?
Jena Ray: Jade didn't want to return to school -- she was humiliated, and even gained 25 pounds from stress. She became quiet and would lie in her room, isolating herself. But she also became very defensive, arguing with her two sisters over everything. The worst part is, she became very insecure about her appearance. I feel this incident ruined her self-esteem.
Momlogic: What do you want other moms to learn from your story?
Jena Ray: A mother should always try to get justice for her child. A zero-tolerance policy shouldn't be just for children but also for teachers who should be held accountable for how they treat students. I send my daughter to school for an education and she looks up to her teachers -- I'm afraid this could ruin her. The toughest part is watching my daughter go through this. I really hurt for her. She's now enrolled in a charter school and eventually wants to be back in a regular school, so we are working toward that.
We recently filed a lawsuit against the school district and the teacher involved because they never really did anything to rectify this. No one apologized to my daughter and to my knowledge, the teacher was never reprimanded.
Jade told me she couldn't believe it when she learned the teacher is also a mom herself, and asked me, "Mom, how could another mom treat her child like this?"