HISD teacher calls boy a derogatory name

December 16, 2011 8:18:33 PM PST
The parents of an elementary student are asking HISD to fire, or at least suspend, a teacher because of what she said to their son.

The teacher admits calling the boy a derogatory name. HISD wont say what motivated the verbal attack.

When nine-year-old Tony Torres was younger, he lost almost all his hearing. His speech development was delayed and as a result, his parents say, so were some of his academic skills.

Tony gets extra attention at HISD's Wainwright Elementary to help. But he came home from there one day this month in tears after one of his teachers called him a name.

"She mumbled the word 'dumbass' and he heard her," said his mother, Patricia Gutierrez.

Tony told his mother the teacher became frustrated over his handwriting. He says he wasn't sure what to think of the verbal assault from a teacher he really likes.

"I felt like sad, and I just don't want to fire the teacher because she's like so nice to me," Tony said.

Tony's father, Jose Torres, though is calling for her termination.

"I would think that she would be fired, because something like that to a kid could really damage them. Just a single word like that could make him think that that's what he is," he said.

HISD says the teacher admitted using the word "dumbass." An HISD spokesperson says she has been, "officially reprimanded for using inappropriate language with a student." But she has not been fired or even suspended.

"No, that's not enough," Jose Torres said.

"Kids get suspended and punished when they do things wrong. Why isn't it like that with teachers when they verbally abuse the child?" Gutierrez added.

The parents moved Tony away from that teacher, and HISD agreed to have other teachers at Wainwright work with him. But that didn't happen over the past two weeks. As a result, his parents say he was never pulled from class for additional instruction as he should have been, missing 30 hours of one-on-one time.

Tony's parents want an apology, while Tony just wants everyone to be friendly again.

"Every day I just say hi to her," Tony said.

Late Friday afternoon, Wainwright's principal met with the parents to work out a plan to help tony recoup those hours of instruction lost.

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