Teacher fired after videotaped beating of teen student

May 11, 2010 3:57:50 PM PDT
It's the confrontation between a science teacher and a student that has a lot of people talking. The teacher was caught on camera, apparently attacking the student at a local charter school. [THE VIDEO IN THE WINDOW ABOVE WAS SHOT ON CELL PHONE VIDEO]

We talked to the boy's mother about it on Tuesday.

Just fewer than a hundred students are enrolled in Jamie's House Charter School. It's considered an alternative school, but if one 13-year-old student had his way, he wouldn't be in class any longer.

Cell phone video from April 29 was reportedly shot inside a classroom, when Isaiah Johnson was confronted by a teacher.

Johnson's mother claims the teacher tried to justify her actions by claiming the teen had laughed at a learning-impaired classmate, but Johnson heard a conflicting story from her son.

"He never touched the little girl," said Alesha Johnson, the boy's mother. "While the teacher was looking through the window, Tammy closed the door, 'Oh, you want to hit on little girls, huh? You hit little girls?'"

The physical confrontation goes on for more than a minute on the video, including hitting, kicking and pulling the student along the floor while classmates and, he claims, other teachers looked on.

The teacher is identified as Shari Lynn Davis. The school is said to have been investigating the mother's allegation since it was reported on April 30. When the video surfaced Monday, Davis was promptly fired, her actions called "horrifying" by the school administration.

"This is not what the principles of this school is based on and we would never tolerate anything like that ever on the part of a teacher," said school spokesperson Sue Davis.

The school is investigating whether or not there were any other teachers present who didn't report it. The child's mother has filed a complaint with the Harris County Sheriff's Office. An investigation is being launched there. The mother is also seeking the advice of an attorney.

Jamie's House Charter School serves grades six through twelve. According to GreatSchools.org, it has close to 100 students. The charter school does meet the "minimum standards" accreditation by the Texas Education Agency.
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The letter below is being sent home with all Jamie's House Charter School students for their parents or guardians.

Dear Parents and/or Guardians:

There has recently been an allegation of a teacher physically assaulting a child at our school.

The incident involved a science teacher and an 8th grade student. It occurred on or about April 29. No other children were involved.

Our school takes all such incidents very seriously and immediate action was taken to safeguard our students. When the allegation was first brought to the school's attention, the accused teacher was immediately removed from the class room and assigned administrative duties. After a thorough investigation, the teacher involved in the incident has been terminated by the school. Further, if any teacher is found to have witnessed the incident and failed to take appropriate action to safeguard the student, disciplinary action against that teacher will be taken.

Educators are entrusted by parents with their children every day and we have a responsibility to see that they are not only taught but treated with respect. This incident violates every principle by which we operate Jamie's House Charter School and we will continue to work hard to earn your confidence in us.

Yours sincerely

David Jones, Principal