Teacher accused of beating student speaks out

May 14, 2010 3:46:43 PM PDT
A teacher who was fired following the release of cell phone video that showed her beating a student spoke out on Friday. Sheri Lynn Davis didn't have too much to say today, but her attorney did, and he says there's a lot we don't yet know.

In recent days, all parties to this story have talked - the school through a spokesperson, the student and his mother on Thursday, and now the teacher who kept her silence until Friday. She did not defend her actions, but rather tried to explain them when she addressed the media Friday to thank those who have supported her, and she made an apology to the students at the school.

All week, we've seen Davis, a 40-year-old teacher, lashing out at a 13-year-old student. She kicked a desk, then turned on Isaiah Reagins. The encounter was caught on a cell phone camera and the video led to her firing from Jamie's House Charter School, an alternative school for at risk students.

"I would like to apologize to each and every one of you. I apologize for the pain that the result of this situation has brought us to," Davis said. "I am without excuse for my actions. I am very regretful and sorry that this incident has ever occurred. If I could go back again, I would do things much, much differently."

Davis is being sued by the family of Isaiah Reagins, as is the charter school, accused of failing to provide adequate security. That is Davis' claim as well.

On the day the video was taken, there was a party to celebrate the completion of TAKS testing, but Davis says things were getting out of hand - a special needs student was in a room and the door was locked.

"And she came to the door and became very panicked, shook at the door, and said, 'Please, please open the door,'" said Chip Lewis, Davis' attorney.

When the door was unlocked, Lewis says, panic and adrenaline took over, and the result is not just of this day he says, but others at the school.

"Children assault other children, assault teachers, and are not expelled," Lewis said. "If they are, they're returned. Teachers shouldn't have to teach in that environment."

In contrast to now, Davis says she was twice named teacher of the year at Jamie's House. She chose to stay in the environment to protect the kids, her attorney says, one of whom she's being investigated for assaulting.

Davis' lawyer added, "Her actions are more regrettable that a young man was involved."

A spokesperson for Jamie's House Charter School said the school has no comment on Davis' allegations, stating that the video speaks for itself.

However, on Friday afternoon, new information was brought to light by Dr. David Jones, Principal of Jamie's House Charter School. He released a statement that reads, the school "has completed its investigation into whether any other teachers or adults witnessed the incident on April 29, 2010. We have concluded that one teacher did witness the event and failed to either stop it or report it to the administration. The School anticipates taking disciplinary action no later than Monday morning."

The sheriff's office will decide if charges will be filed against Davis.


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