Last week, a kindergarten teacher in a suburb of San Antonio, Texas was fired for having her students stand in a line and slap a class "bully" one by one.
Six-year-old Alden Neely -- a kindergartner at Salinas Elementary School near San Antonio -- apparently had the reputation of being a bully. So his teacher had the other 24 students in the class line up and slap him, in an effort to end his bullying.
We believe that this teacher was entirely out of line by having a student slapped by 24 students -- or even just one student.
Teachers must not use physical punishment -- or allow a student to use physical punishment -- against a student. It is just not acceptable today, since it usually results in a lawsuit by the student's parents against the teacher or the school department.
The teacher should have used a different method to punish the alleged bully. For example, she could have kept him after school, or had him write "I will not bully other students" several times.
Alden's mother was very upset -- and rightly so -- that the teacher had 24 students slap her son. In fact, she plans to do everything she can to prevent his former teacher from ever becoming a teacher again.
We believe that Alden's former teacher should seek employment in a field other than education, as this "bullying" situation clearly illustrates that she lacks the pedagogical skills that are necessary to work effectively with children.