A Rutherford County father is taking action after his 11-year-old son claimed he was hit by a student teacher.
Michael Currey told Nashville's News 2 the alleged incident occurred on November 14 when the student teacher from Middle Tennessee State University was working in his son's fifth grade classroom at Roy Waldron Elementary School in La Vergne.
“My son was touching a keyboard, she said stop. Well he touched it one more time because he was trying to backspace what he entered and she walked up to him and started punching him and said, ‘Let me teach you a little lesson about stopping,'” Currey told Nashville's News 2.
In an email to Nashville's News 2, the Rutherford County School District stated, “We had a parent report that a student-teacher from MTSU had patted a student on the back repeatedly with a closed hand in order to get the student's attention. Once notified, the district investigated, notified MTSU, and the student teacher was removed from that school assignment. The student teacher has not been placed at any other Rutherford County school.”
However, according to Currey, it was five days and another run-in with the student teacher before she was finally removed from the school.
A voicemail to Currey left by the school's patrol officer days later indicated that the 11-year-old's claims were eventually taken seriously.
In the voicemail the officer stated, “I just wanted to let [Currey] know that I have done my investigation and I do know for a fact because I witnessed her apologizing.”
For Currey, it was too little, too late. He said, “I got administration that was being defensive on the student teaching part and I was fighting an uphill battle from beginning to end.”
Currey said despite several attempts, he has not heard from MTSU but hopes proper disciplinary action will be taken.
“This student teacher hit my son, is that the type of teacher you want teaching in Rutherford county or any county or any state,” said Currey. “She might hurt somebody else, it's as simple as that and do you want to be the responsible party to say hey, we let her go and finish college and become a teacher.”
Currey filed an incident report on Wednesday with the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department.
According to the sheriff's department, the report had not been processed yet.
In a statement from MTSU on Wednesday, a school spokesperson said, “The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office has informed the university that it has not filed charges and is not pursuing an investigation. Because of federal student privacy laws, the university cannot comment on the specifics of this situation. As a matter of practice, the university looks into such allegations regarding student teachers and takes appropriate action as warranted. We also look for opportunities to mentor and coach our student teachers as we prepare them for careers in the classroom.”
According to the Rutherford County School District, student teachers are not school district employees but are placed at our schools through a cooperative agreement with MTSU.