Teachers not allowed to physically handle students in disciplinary measure

December 22, 2013 

I must disagree with Mike McLeod's Dec. 18 letter about the Herald report "Substitute teacher at Nolan Middle School charged with abuse," in which he applauds the teacher for dragging a student bodily out of the classroom.

Evidently, the substitute was dealing with an unruly, disruptive, or disrespectful student, and rather than follow proper procedures, he lost his cool and resorted to what now constitutes a form of child abuse, which is the reason he was fired.

The fact is every substitute teacher in Manatee County, in addition to being fingerprinted for a background check, must take a class which includes the rules of acceptable classroom management, the importance of student safety, and other valuable information they will need to function successfully in the classroom.

Discipline still exists in our schools, although it does not include physical abuse, a fact with which Mr. McLeod appears to disagree.

The proper procedure for this substitute to have followed at the middle school level would have been to write a referral, which would include detailing the student's inappropriate behavior, recommending the appropriate consequences, and sending the student to the office with the referral.

Occasionally, a student will refuse to leave the classroom, which would add insubordination to the inappropriate behavior.

In the case of an insubordinate student, the teacher should pick up the classroom telephone and call for an administrator, resource officer, or parent liaison in charge of discipline to come to the classroom and escort the student out. Disciplinary consequences for inappropriate behavior might include detention, in-school suspension, or suspension from school, depending on the severity of the behavior.

Mr. McLeod needs to accept that the rules for disciplining a child in our society have changed. Parents as well as schools still have the right to discipline children, but physical abuse is not one of the acceptable methods.

Carol Gazell


Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service