A Florida mom said she was “very sad,” when she found out her 5-year-old son was allegedly getting bullied by his kindergarten teacher.
Kandy Escotto told reporters that in late June, she secretly put a recorder in her son’s backpack in October 2017, after he told her his teacher had called him a “bad boy” in class, CBS News reports.
She added her son Aaron was struggling with his grades and self-esteem, and after going through 32 hours of recorded audio, the teacher, Rosalba Suarez, was caught calling her son and another boy a “loser.”
“It’s very sad for a mother to realize it is happening to your child in a place where he’s protected and being taught,” Escotto said during a new conference late June.
The recording also revealed a woman, whom Escotto believes is Suarez, told the five-year-old that his mother was driving her crazy, and how she was a “little lost.” She also brought up his work habits in class and how often he didn’t participate in class.
The Miami Herald reports Saurez had been with Banyan Elementary School for 33 years, and even won a “teacher of the year” title in 2018.
Escotto told the paper she hired a lawyer last fall and sent a certified letter from her attorney in November about her complaints. After a few months of going back and forth, her attorney decided to hold a press conference to share the mom’s story.
Her claim notes her son and the other child said they didn’t want to participate, and Suarez asked if they wanted “a nice job” or a “loser’s job.”
“We want to know how far up it went and whoever is responsible is held accountable,” her attorney Raphael Lopez said during a press conference in June.
According to the Miami Herald, the Miami-Dade County school district opened an investigation into Escotto’s allegations and also issued a statement.
“Miami-Dade County Public Schools goes to great lengths to promote a culture of dignity and respect, not only among our students but with our employees,” a spokesperson from the district said in a statement.
“We work diligently to ensure the well-being of every child entrusted to our care. Any action that runs contrary to the values we instill in our school community will not be tolerated. The district will conduct a thorough review of this matter and, if the allegations are substantiated, we will take any and all appropriate disciplinary actions.”
And with school being over, Escotto added her son and daughter will continue to go to the school in the fall, because overall, it was a great place for her kids.
“It’s sad that we have to get to this point to get a response from somebody to look into this complaint that I put in a long time ago.”
When the teacher is the bully
According to the team at Very Well Family, the majority of teachers your children will encounter are good, but if there is one that ends up being a bully, he or she will most likely verbally or emotionally abuse your child.
The site notes if your child does complain about a bullying incident from a teacher, the first thing to do is to record everything. “If the teacher berates your child in front of the class be sure to write down the date, the time, what was said and which students were present.”
And don’t forget to work on your child’s self-esteem during this time, especially if a teacher belittles them.
“Encourage them to focus on things other than the bullying, like favourite activities or new hobbies. Also, do not spend too much time talking about the bullying. Doing so, keeps them focused on the negative in their life.”
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