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Teacher Is Put on Leave After She Reportedly Kicked a Student in the Leg While He Threw a Tantrum

Screenshot/KIRO7

Police are investigating after a Washington teacher reportedly kicked a 7-year-old student with disabilities who was throwing a tantrum in class.

As KIRO7 reports, a student in Blaine Primary School teacher Catherine Hicks’ class fell to the floor kicking and screaming. During the tantrum, the 7-year-old kicked Hicks in her lower leg. A witness told police Hicks responded by forcefully kicking the student back in the upper leg.

She has been placed on administrative leave.

According to Superintendent Ronald Spanjer, the Blaine School District will now began their own investigation.

Spanjer said:

As we have now confirmed that the Blaine Police Department has completed their work, we will initiate the process of conducting a personnel level investigation, which will remain confidential with respect to the details surfaced until our investigation is complete.  At this time, we are setting up the parameters/scope of the investigation, and do not yet have a projected date for completion.”

Parents of other students at the school were surprised by the news.

Brittney Segel said:

That’s just insane. All the teachers are incredibly kind so that’s just shocking.”

While the student was not hurt by Hicks’ kick, another parent still felt the teacher was out of line.

Rhonda Hunt said:

I’d be extremely angry that’s just not right. Disability or not, she’s an adult and she should be better than that.”

According to KIRO7, Hicks has been a member of the Blaine’s school District for around six months. Despite Hicks’ incident, the school district ensure student safety remains a priority.

What do you think?

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    • Absolutely, but even so, that is not the job for her.When a student is having a tantrum, our protocol is to remove all other students and staff. Let the student tire out. Why was she standing right there where she would get kicked?

      • Maybe she was following all her protocols but couldn’t get away because the space was crowded or there were people blocking her retreat. Maybe it happened suddenly. If she was kicked maybe it was reflexive. It’s got to be a tough road for her. Teachers do need to be give some slack – there are a lot of kids out there whose families use their disabilities as excuses for poor behavior. Teachers put a lot into their work and should be able to feel safe at their work. Parents teach your kids.

      • I don’t think we can judge a person on just one event. If there was a pattern, then yes – it’s not the job for her. But we don’t know from the news articles anything about her thinking.

  1. I think that Elaine is right, and in order to really evaluate, it would be helpful to know if this was an every day occurrence, what the disability was, if he responds this way not only to the staff but also the other students. Since he was not actually harmed, it would also be interesting to see if this increased or decreased the severity of his anti-social behavior.

  2. Injury has NOTHING to do with this!! She is a TEACHER for goodness sake! She needs to set better examples to ALL of her students on
    how to handle difficult situations. Is this her idea of crisis management. Of course the disabled student’s behavior was not acceptable and perhaps he would be better in a more flexible classroon environment with an aide. Whatever the situation, the teacher shouldn’t have a “knee jerk reaction” to a student on the floor any more than a parent should with their child. It’s definitely conference time and include the parents to see if the student’s behavior is commonplace.

    • We don’t know anything about how she managed the crisis except the final outcome: he kicked her, she kicked him. Even teachers are human and have nerves, tendons and reflexes, so a “knee jerk reaction” may literally be what happened. I would agree that it is definitely conference time and if the student’s behavior is commonplace – then the parents know – and should apologize for their child’s behavior.

  3. Some people with “disabilities” think that they can do anything they want and get away with it. They absolutely know the difference between right and wrong but have always gotten away with anything they have done because they have never experienced discipline. I was on a public bus, in Orange County, California, a few years ago, when the bus picked up about 15 “disabled” young people in front of a school they all attended. There were 3 or 4 “wranglers” (all in their early 20s) to look after the mostly teen-aged students. Each one had a bus pass but it still took some time for all of them to board the bus. I was seated in the wide seat at the very rear of the bus. There were several empty seats on that wide bench. One punk, about 17-years old, walked toward that rear seat, carrying a back-pack, which he threw at the seat, with the back-pack HITTING ME, which I’m sure was intentional. I grabbed the pack, threw it on the floor of the bus, told him if he did it again I’d stomp his effing a–, and looked out the window. As I wasn’t looking at him, one of the female wranglers, about 21 years old, walked up in front of where he was sitting and said, “Kevin, put that back in your pants. I’ve told you before not to do that.” I looked over and the punk had his penis out and was masturbating. If I had seen him doing that before the girl arrived, he would have ended up in an ER with some painful injuries. He knew that wasn’t acceptable but he did it anyway.

    • No one deserves to be kicked, especially a child. But then, neither does a teacher deserve to be kicked, or hit, etc. A teacher deserves to have a safe work place. It is all too common in our schools both in gen ed and in special ed. It is a reflection of our society. Clearly the kid and the teacher need support: the teacher may need clear protocols and procedures from her school, more help so she can provide a 1:1 aid and meet the requirements of LRE and FAPE under IDEA. The kid seems to need more security and structure – more help and a 1:1 aid for a specified period of time to help teach him. The teacher can’t be expected to be that 1:1 person as she has other obligations to other students.

    • If you’re the parent of that kid, with that attitude, maybe that’s why he kicked in the first place. Children learn what they live and if you teach violence and retribution like that in your home, then your kid may very well be the one in the news article some day. We all need to approach situations knowing that there are many facets and offer up compassion as the underpinnings of dispute resolution.

  4. Teachers don’t get paid enough to take all the abuse they get these days. It was probably just a knee jerk reaction to getting kicked. Saying a kid is special needs seems to be an excuse for bratty out of control behavior these days. If a kid can’t control themselves enough to sit in a desk for a few hours without throwing a tantrum and disrupting everyone else they should be home schooled where they can’t hold all the other kids back.

    • so true – so many kids’ educations being put on hold when rooms are cleared, and teachers’ ability to actually teach. There is a ruling about inclusion for special ed kids in the general ed setting. It’s called the Holland Standard. The kid has to be ready and have the skills and not disrupt. But what if it is a gen ed kid in gen ed? What if it is a sped kid in a self contained setting? Can the Holland Standard apply to a sped kid in the sped setting? If the kid can’t function safely and independently even in the self-contained setting then there are separate schools until the kid learns the skills to be in self contained again. No kid should have to earn their way in to school, but they should have the requisite skills so they can function safely – for their sake and the sake of others.

  5. I am appalled that children are allowed to stay in classrooms when they are disruptive. I have seen teachers being hit, punched, spit on, kicked, items being thrown at them. Teachers should be protected from this abuse. The education of the other students should not be put on hold to “clear” the room. Until both teachers and other parents start standing up and suing the state and districts for these disruptive children, nothing will change.

  6. I’m sorry to say this but I am with her. Some fucking kids with disabilities are being raised by parents that believe they shouldn’t have to suffer consinquenses for their actions. In other countries kids would get a wooping by a 2by4 or a belt. It didn’t matter what u did have or didn’t. Everyone was the same. I do have a child with special needs and I will teach him right from wrong. Hitting people is not ok. Teachers should be allowed to woop some ass to defend themselves do back what the kid do. That will teach them and make them understand that it’s not ok and they will defend themselves. If u don’t want ur kid to be taught at school and then homeschool plain and simple.

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