Two teachers have been charged with allegedly ordering kindergarten students to each hit a classroom bully. The boy's friends who didn't want to strike him eventually did so, for fear of being punished by their teachers.
A San Antonio teacher allegedly heard about a boy whose behaviour was aggressive and violent. She then instructed fellow students to bully six-year-old Aiden Nelly physically in return.
The Salinas Elementary School teacher had been approached by another teacher last month for advice about how to discipline Neely, 6, who she said “was a bully in her classroom,” according to a Judson ISD Police Department report, MySanAntonio reports.
The police report says the teacher chose to show the child "why bullying is bad" by instructing his peers to "Hit him!" and "Hit him harder!" As the Statesman adds, "the second teacher intervened only after one of the children hit the boy hard on his upper back."
Twenty-four students were in the classroom at the time of the incident.
It's unclear if the boy endured any physical injuries, but his mother says her son has suffered emotional trauma.
The Judson Independent School District fired the teacher accused of organizing the payback. She has been charged, along with another teacher who allegedly failed to report the incident, with a misdemeanor, according to the chief of the school district’s police, ABC News reports.
Neely's mother told media that some of her son's classroom friends told him they didn't want to hit the boy but did so because they were afraid not to. She adds she was never aware her son was a bully or was accused of intimidating other children.
"We can't have teachers acting like a loose cannon," said district spokesman Steve Linscomb of the teacher who orchestrated the hitting incident. "Doing something that's this far off the charts, doing what they feel like is teaching (students) a lesson; we're not going to tolerate that."