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Abusive Teacher Calls Student 'Ugly'

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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?"

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29 comments so far | Post a comment now
Ninette July 30, 2008, 1:05 PM

Wow…you send your child to get educated and they come back NOT learning a thing, ridiculed, abused, bored or ignored….

Teachers these days really aren’t worth a sh*t, are they?

Another check for homeschool!

maureen July 30, 2008, 1:16 PM

as a former teacher of over forty years
I remember that one should never, never
touch another person’s child to issue
a reprimand of any sort. also this
person is not well trained in any child
psychology, and should not be allowed
in classrooms. what are the teaching
schools teaching the students there??
It would seem that tae quan do, is the
norm for that person. MY MO

Ninette July 30, 2008, 1:26 PM

Maureen—it’s a shame that you’re no longer teaching, because it seems these new teachers have MUCH to learn from those who believed in the responsibility of shaping our young people.

ANON July 30, 2008, 1:36 PM

Look, I know that this is a tragic story with a young teacher. But there are still good teachers out there. Not every teacher is like this. And yes home schooling is an option for those that want to do it. But What I think should happen is listen to your children and see what is going on at school. Because by home schooling there are so many things that they miss out on. School Dances, Sporting events, Social activities. I mean there are so many things that home school kids don’t get. I’m not saying that it is a bad thing. I’m just saying that I wouldn’t want my kids to go through life wondering why can’t I go to a regular school. I don’t know this is just a bad topic. Home School vs. School. Let’s just put it out there…not every teacher is a bad one.

Michael Tefft July 30, 2008, 2:45 PM

This is only one side of the story. No one should come to a conclusion or makes comments based on only one side of the story.You don’t know if this happened as the child and mother said. Whatever happened to hearing both sides of a story first?

Rrika July 30, 2008, 3:00 PM

OMG I can’t believe it. My heart really hurts for this young woman. I can almost just feel her pain. It is so unfortunate that she had to endure this at school by an adult,who knows better.. I know that there are some great teachers out there but, for the ones who treat their students as such is a mess and they should be disciplined. What ever happened to “it takes a village” . Things are not what they used to be and we sincerly need to go back to that.

Lydia Perez July 30, 2008, 3:17 PM

As parents we should never allow our children to be treated in this manner. Legal action must be taken to resolve this matter.

Anonymous July 30, 2008, 3:46 PM

This young lady have great parents who did not let this incident slide. Parents must be involved and must listen to their children. Our kids needs to know that school is a safe place not one where teachers disrespect them. The teacher should be fired immediately.

jnh July 31, 2008, 7:12 AM

This is crap! This little girl & HER MOTHER need to grow up. It seems like everyone especially parents think that their child can do nothing wrong. I highly doubt that this teacher truly kicked her and injured her. If i were to kick someone especially a 14yr old child (which i wouldn’t) i know good and well that child would not be getting up and runny to the principals office. This is just another excuse for the PARENTS to take control of the school system! I say…she deserves nothing! She and her parents need to grow up!

been there July 31, 2008, 7:29 AM

Like all stories until we we see all sides, it is not a good idea to judge. If all the other students had on their shirts for the candygram delivery this girl has the opportunity to obtain one. The smart aleck comment that the shirts weren’t worth 15 dollars leads me to believe that this conversation went very differently.

As a VOLUNTEER tutor with teens, I have had my share of rude self-aggrandizing children demanding that I give them things and run off making a scene because I did not.

Teachers have a hard enough job without spoiled and selfish children trying to manipulate them. Being a teacher means babysitting , teaching and being a referee and in some schools you might even get killed for your efforts.

I will reserve judgement until I here the WHOLE story!

SVT July 31, 2008, 8:08 AM

Outrageous! I cannot believe this teacher is still in the school! The poor kid! Well, I hope I never run into the teacher because I would like to give her a swift kick!

CT July 31, 2008, 9:19 AM

Another burned-out teacher who should be in another line of work. I’m sure this happens more than we’d like to think - kudos to a Mom who wants to stand up for her daughter. Private school or home school should definitely be considered, instead of sending a daughter back to a situation where she has been damaged by an abuser. Many larger towns have parent-run cottage schools for jr. high and high school students where they pool resources to hire private tutors - I would check out all the available options!

Anonymous July 31, 2008, 9:32 AM

Jade, you are beautiful! That teacher needs to get her eyes checked!

Dontay July 31, 2008, 11:09 AM

If a student would have kicked a teacher the kid would have been handcuffed, expelled and taken to Juvenile Hall. I think the parents are doing the right thing. I don’t think they are trying to make all teachers look bad, just that one, because she was wrong.

Esperanza  July 31, 2008, 2:16 PM

Wow I hope that teacher is publically humiliated! that is so horrible

Not So Understanding July 31, 2008, 3:22 PM

There is no reason, I don’t care what kind of day they are having, how unruly a child might become or whatever the reason my have been. This type of behavior is unacceptable for any adult of trust. We send our children to school everyday for 9 months or 180 days to get an education not to be verbally or physically abused. For this teacher to have put there hand especially hes or her feet on a child in there care in front of her peers, well I feel equal treatment for your crime, because no matter how you look at it the teacher committed a crime (Mental and Physical Abuse). We as parents send our children to school to get an education, yes our little angles can be come little devil out of our sights, but there is still no reason for this teacher to put her foot on this child as well as call this child out side of her name and or character. My child they would have have to call the law to keep me from kicking the teacher behind. This type of story angers me that our child are not safe anywhere, not unless they are at home inside under lock and key like they are in prison for being a child. This type of problems leads to all types of domino effects in there young lives, they loss trust in people even in there families, because someone wrongfully discredited their self esteem and ability to feel confident in themselves around other. Bottom line the teacher needs to be fired from her job as a teacher, her license revoked for teacher, also never to gain trust from anyone to leave this person in charge or let alone be trusted with another child. Reason: suppose this was your child and she or he is verbally humiliated and abused by any adult figure, THINK about it everyone what would your true reaction be????

Anonymous July 31, 2008, 4:24 PM

I attended this high school and had this teacher for 2 semesters. She was really rude, and I never learned anything from her. I first heard this story on the radio and to tell you the truth I wasn’t surprised. I remember one incident when one of my friends went in during lunch to sing for her and ask for advice. She came out crying because this teacher told her she shouldn’t be singing at all because she sounded like a chicken being choked. I wonder how many other students were hurt by this teacher.

Deb July 31, 2008, 6:00 PM

In this day and age, if a student made a comment of this nature to a teacher or gave a teacher a swift kick in the butt, the student would most likely be suspended or expelled.
This unfortunate situation should have been taken care of immediately by the school, and the teacher should have been reprimanded.

That teacher was certainly not thinking in her right mind… to act in such a manner. They are not given teaching creditials to tease or humiliate children. They are given to them to educate !

Anonymous July 31, 2008, 7:46 PM

My son-in-law who is now 33 has AADD, His teacher ask him one day Why are you here your dumb. About 3-5 yrs ago this teacher husband was found guilty of having sex with students. What goes around….

yoyoyo August 5, 2008, 2:51 PM

most of all my teacher were good teachers beside the ones that got rewards for being a great teacher or what ever. i had a teache MS.MAGEEwho won a reward district 209 rockford il
how would call students baby for gettting sick at the sight of and cow eyeball.yellling at a kid who burped and calling his mom for it.yelling at a girl because she did not want a sandwhich.and then at the end of the year no will miss her!
this were just someof the things a teacher should not do. they shouldbe caring and able to tolerate teaching children.not picking on them

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