Did Gym Teachers Go Too Far with Exercise as Discipline?
The parents of adolescent students in Texas have raised questions about school disciplinary actions after middle school gym teachers punished the students by ordering them to run laps and do bear crawls and other difficult athletic workout exercises. The punishment was handed down after the students allegedly engaged in misconduct during gym class. According to […]
The parents of adolescent students in Texas have raised questions about school disciplinary actions after middle school gym teachers punished the students by ordering them to run laps and do bear crawls and other difficult athletic workout exercises. The punishment was handed down after the students allegedly engaged in misconduct during gym class.
According to the parents of kids who attend Gregory Luna Middle School in San Antonio, Texas, the eighth-grade students who were perceived to have misbehaved in class were told to do bear crawls, while the younger seventh-grade students accused of misbehaving were forced to run laps around the track. The potential legal issue now is whether this punishment was impermissible and constituted “abuse.”
One person who certainly classifies the middle school gym teachers’ disciplinary actions as abuse is Anthony Coley, the father of one of the students who had to do bear crawls in class. Cole recently spoke with the media and said that what the teacher did to his daughter “was definitely abuse.” Deborah Coley, the mother of the same student, added that the teachers need to be punished in order to “send a message” to other educators who might think about abusing students in the same way. The Coleys’ anger at the gym teachers’ actions stems from the fact that their daughter suffered a panic attack, and struggled to breathe properly, while performing the difficult exercise-imposed-as-punishment. Although middle school officials have confirmed that the student had a panic attack, they did not comment on what the daughter’s infraction may have been.
When confronted with the allegations, the gym teachers explained that the lap-running punishment was issued to a number of seventh-grade boys who had been involved in an incident involving a BB gun. Apparently, one of the boys brought a BB gun to class and spilled pellets across the gymnasium floor. The gym teachers responded by telling the offending students to run more than 50 laps, which amounted to one lap for every BB on the gym floor.
Administrators with the Northside Independent School District have already spoken out on the gym teachers’ actions. School officials have not referred to the disciplinary actions as “student abuse,” but they did indicate that the discipline was “totally inappropriate.” Now it appears that the teachers will be the ones who get end up being disciplined.
For more information about this student discipline case, read the Yahoo.com article, “Parents Outraged over ‘Out of Line’ Punishment for Students.”
If your child was the subject of an unreasonably harsh punishment from their school, you should speak with a seasoned education attorney who understands the nuances of federal and state laws. Howard Mendelson of Davis & Mendelson is a knowledgeable NJ education attorney with experience on both sides of the table in disciplinary hearings. Contact him today to schedule a free consultation about your case.