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Mom Sues, Says Son's Teacher Humiliated Him

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What happened to her son has this mom pulling her hair out.

Momlogic's Julie: Hearing about kids being publicly humiliated by teachers always makes me sick. After all, these are the people who are supposed to protect and guide our kids ... not emotionally abuse them.

boy with ponytails

As a kid, I was teased enough by other students ... I don't know what I would have done if the teachers mocked me, too.

So when I heard about what happened to Amanda Anoai's son, I was outraged.

According to a lawsuit Amanda has now filed against the school district, the trouble began on September 29.

She says her son, who is in sixth grade, was asked by his language arts teacher at Boyd E. Smith Elementary School in Milford, Ohio, to deliver a message to another room.

While he was gone, the teacher reportedly told the class that she was going to play a prank on the boy. When he returned, the teacher's aide approached him with a pair of hair clippers and pretended to shave his shoulder-length hair, the lawsuit states.

Okay, that's bad enough.

But THEN, the suit says, the teacher pulled the boy's hair into three ponytails -- one above each ear, and one atop his head -- with bands and introduced him to the class as a new student with a female name.

WTF? WHAT were these so-called "teachers" thinking?!

Just when you think it can't get any worse ... Amanda claims the teacher's aide then walked her son to other sixth grade classrooms to show his ponytails, and classmates laughed and called him names including "girl," ''ponytails," and "pigtails."

OMG, if that had happened to my son, I would have been so outraged! It makes my blood boil just thinking about it!

Amanda said that her son cried when he told her what had happened, and said it "embarrassed him and made him feel stupid." She says she cried, too.

Being forced to show classmates the ponytails "caused him extreme humiliation, embarrassment and emotional distress," and school officials failed to protect him against "gender-based harassment," the lawsuit alleges.

Amanda said her son did not want to return to school, but she advised him to try after school officials told her he would not have to be in the room with both women together, reports KOCO. When he later told her he was with both of them, she switched him to another school.

She has now filed a lawsuit against teacher Tori Bothe, the teacher's aide, school Principal Jill Chin, Milford Exempted Village School District, and Superintendent Robert Farrell. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, and charges that school officials violated the boy's constitutional rights and intentionally inflicted emotional distress.

I, for one, hope she wins!

Why do teachers like this feel the need to humiliate students? WHY?

next: 'Sexual Bending' Outlawed in Wisconsin School
21 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous Mom January 28, 2010, 12:48 PM

I had teachers do stuff to me over the years, but nothing that bad. One of the worst was when a kindergarten teacher had to leave her classroom to take an emergency call - as I was in the highest grade in the school (sixth, age 11) and had the best grades, it was decided I would watch the class for the time being. Well, I can’t remember how long I was in charge of 20 kindergarteners - about 30 minutes, I think - but I was almost in tears by the end of it. I couldn’t control them all! I didn’t know what to do! When I got back to my classroom, my teacher mocked me in front of my whole class for “not being able to handle a few little kindergarteners for a few minutes.” Everyone laughed at me. Not only do I still remember this, but for years I even thought I’d be a horrible mom because I couldn’t control all those kids. It wasn’t until about 15 years later that I realized that what she did was wrong, that I was too young to handle that responsibility, that it was a completely different situation and not my fault, anyway.

rainonme214 January 28, 2010, 1:21 PM

I support this ! I also had an experience by an English teacher in seventh grade being humiliated. I was from Phil. and migrated to Hawaii. I know few english words and barely understand it. While the students are doing their own stuff.. she called me and talked to me by the window. I remember she was askin me a question and I dont know the answer.. she kept askin me and almost losin her patient on me. I started cryin.. but she still demands me to say the right answer. I lost my confidence big time. And im still having this issue right now. Its hard to forget things like this because i was embarassed. It was really hard for me especially I was new and still adjusting to that school. I didnt tell my parents or my friends cause i was so humiliated. After that incident in class.. it feels like they treat me as the dumbest person in class. Some didnt want me to be in their group.. But i’d say I learned a lot.. and i’ll make sure my kids wont be treated this way.

ASL January 28, 2010, 1:30 PM

Really? You hope she wins?

Look, if these allegations are true, then what the teachers did was certainly wrong, unprofessional, and had no place in a classroom. But what exactly is the constitutional right that you think was violated - a right to be free of humiliation? The school said the teachers would be reprimanded, so it’s not as if their behavior is going unpunished - but you think there should also be a payout here, without any information that the school has ignored (or encouraged) this type of behavior in the past?

Bad stuff happens to our kids - our job is to teach them how to handle it and move on. To me, suing and looking for a payout over every humiliation doesn’t seem like the best way of teaching those lessons.

joy January 28, 2010, 1:47 PM

i totally agree with you guys..hope the mother an asian, back in our country teachers used to punish students very harshyl..enforse thier personal problems on the students.. cant imagine how bad some students been bulied by the teachers.parents never complain. i am in canada now and i have a 2 yr old..if my son gets in to any of this kind of bullying i’ll be furious will be suing the school.she shouldn’t be teaching anymore…

Momof2 January 28, 2010, 2:05 PM

Wow! That is just totally wrong! I hope that mom wins and wins big time!!

And to the post above me….this is not your everyday humiliation!!! Duh!!! A grown woman/women should know better than this!!! You expect kids to be brutal but teachers…like just wrong and should not only be sued but lose thier job!!!

JOY January 28, 2010, 2:22 PM


HLM January 28, 2010, 5:06 PM

A lawsuit? Really? It seems like everyone is trying to dip into any money they can get, even if it means furthering their child’s embarrassment publicly. I don’t know the whole story to this, but it seems like Amanda is a deranged and overbearing mother. I understand she wants to ensure her son’s safety at school, but filing a lawsuit over this is ridiculous. Amanda should be ashamed.

f January 28, 2010, 6:43 PM

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Child At Boyd. E Smith January 28, 2010, 6:48 PM

Okay i am a sixth grader and i am going to the school that this child use to go to. I was a witness of the pigtails. But my fellow classmates were an actual witness. They told me, that what happened was the aid took her index finger and her middle finger, and put them into a scissor shaped form and pretended to cut his hair. And yes his hair was put into pigtails, and no from what i recall he did not try to take a pig tail out. And yes he was sent to 3 classrooms of sixth grade. But when he walked in my class, he was laughing having a good time!! So in my opinion, this is not fair at all!!! So my language arts teacher (the kid’s old english teacher) is the best teacher you could ask for!! She teaches you stuff, but also at the same time has fun. And in my defence, he couldve flat out told the teachers to stop.

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mercaties January 29, 2010, 12:02 AM

If the post from the student above is true, then it sounds more like the teacher was playing around with him. In that case the no the mother has absolutly no right to sue. But, if he was truly upset and the teachers knew this and continued anyways, then yes they should loose their jobs and be repremanded. I don’t the the parents are entitled to money though.

Vera Ando-Winstead January 29, 2010, 6:55 AM

I believe the student’s account and don’t believe the Mother should get a cent. Reprimand the teacher and move on.

b January 29, 2010, 9:22 AM

this is such a tough spot to be in: no parent wants her child to be publicly mocked and humiliated. No teacher should engage in that behavior. But suing the school only robs the students—that’s less money the district has for computers, textbooks, and salary for more teachers. And in the teacher’s defense, it’s hard to know when the line between playing around and humiliation has been crossed, especially if both student and teacher were initially in on the joke. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but I just don’t think that villain teachers are nearly as pervasive and prevalent as we see in the media. Sad that what could have been solved with a parent/teacher/principle conference has now made nat’l news furthering the embarrassment of both parties.

Robin January 29, 2010, 11:34 AM

This is wrong on a couple of levels. Not only should you not tease or degrade a student, but shouldn’t the time they took to parade him around to different classrooms be used to, I don’t know, TEACH something?

Chrissy January 30, 2010, 12:06 AM

Hn, reading the accounts in the OH press oline.
Something happen, the teachers used bad judgment but it lloks like the student asked to go to the other classrooms to see his buddies and even asked to have his picture taken to show is mother.
The attorney Dters and his law firm seem to have quite a negative reputation among the posters to the news sites.
And apparently the parents are not too concern about their sons trauma has they parade him around to interview after interview discussing this “humilating” event.

Chrisy January 30, 2010, 12:22 AM

Eric Deters has been fined four times by differnet judges including $14,000 for filing a fivilous lawsuit against a school bus company. He also tired, unsucessfully, to get a class action lawsuit against the New England Patriots football team when they won the Super Bowl over the Rams.
If that’s their attorney, yep, the lawsuit is suspect.

Teresa Ramirez January 30, 2010, 7:58 AM

So WRONG! Best of luck to mom and son!!

Some person ^_^ February 1, 2010, 9:26 AM

To Child At Boyd. E Smith

You might have seen it, but you don’t know what he felt. He could have laughed due to the fact he might have found it funny at the time, but when you think more and more about it while having other students make fun of you brings you to your senses that it was cruel and unfair.
He also may have laughed to hide the fact he wanted to cry or something, it’s what most kids do, hide it until later.

I’m in secondary school and yes, my tutor does humiliate us by words, or hugging us, but she has never ever tied our hair in ways we wouldn’t like or pretended to cut it. So that teachers actions were wrong to do, I know I wouldn’t be happy if a teacher had touched me, I even know for a fact that other people wouldn’t. Teachers may forget it, but the students will remember it and he’ll be mentally scarred due to that incident. Especially being in an elementary school which is like a primary school for me, is his early years of school that’s just been ruined because of pigtails and name changes.

Student March 11, 2010, 7:00 PM

This is ridiculous, I think its just a scam to get money. If the teachers did what she says they did then they deserve to be fired nothing more. Emotional distress is just a lie in situations like this. Being raped or seeing a murder is actual emotional distress.

Matt March 27, 2010, 11:47 PM

To the poster above that’s a “child” u googled this and found mom logic out of all sites to find?What’s even more strange is ur same exact post is copy and pasted on multiple sites.Seems u just may be more than a student.
The mom has never denied her child was “going along with it.” She stated her son was trying not to cry infront of his peers, he was popular and well known and had to maintain this attitude that his peers felt he should when dealing with this.
ONE more point, we r studying this case in school. ALL of my classmates along with our teacher have read documents that were released from Milford school district on behalf of the teschers and their so called “verbal” warning. THE teachers admitted to all things brought against them but did say they thought it was “funny.”. What if this child was the poor,ugly and unpopular child? Would it be different, would it of been more cruel? But bc he is popular he should not of cared? HORRIBLE anyone is blaming the mother! Did she send him to school with his hair up? Did she ask them to do this? Did she think to herself that morning hmm I bet today would be a great day to have my sons hair be put up into pony tails and introduced as a girl to his peers!RIDICULOUS. HOW do these teachers know what goes on in a childs head? THEY felt like it was ok to do this to him? He just watched his brother pass away 2 weeks before this. When he goes home from school how do they know if he is mentally stable enough to handle this? WHAT child at 11 yrs of age would think this is funny?
As far as an interview goes the family turned down every major interview offered. The son asked to tell his side of the story to stick up for himself and then BOOM he and the mother have not been seen or heard from since. I was writing a paper on this article so I googled this today and found this page. I’m sickened by some comments and impressed by the majority.
I come from a town where the parents ALWAYS stood behind the children, it sounds like this town is backwards. More worried about money and such than a child. Milford should be ashamed to not have the families back (bc the majority of the country does.)

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