District says teacher under investigation after inappropriate classroom vote

Posted at 11:19 PM, Oct 10, 2016

An elementary school teacher is under investigation after she told students to write down the names of two kids, who distract others from learning, because those students could get kicked out of their class and moved to another classroom.

Felicia Cummings said her daughter is in 3rd grade at Gulf Highlands Elementary School. She said the incident happened last week. She was told her daughter tried to choke herself after school when two students told her 8-year-old daughter they voted her out of their class.

"She said the teacher had given them sheets of paper to write down kids names that they wanted out of the classroom," Cummings said.

The 3rd grade level at the school is crowded and they need to move students into a new classroom. Those decisions will be made by the principal and assistant principal. The district is investigating why this teacher asked students to help decide which students should be moved.

Linda Cobbe, Director of the Pasco Schools' Communications Department, said they will discipline the teacher. They said they will review her application again. The teacher started working for the school district this August.

"To me, it's bullying, you know, at it's worst. Not just the teacher passing it off, but also teaching the other kids to judge other kids," Cummings said.

Cobbe said it was inappropriate to ask students to do that.

Cummings believes the teacher was also trying to get kids to behave, which she said is something her daughter does already. She wanted to share her story to inform other parents about what happened to her daughter.

"It's not he kids responsibility to reprimand other kids. It's the teachers. If she had an issue with students, than she should have addressed it herself," Cumming said.