CREATED Aug. 21, 2013
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Tucson school district has removed one of its teachers from the classroom, as police investigate a possible assault. KGUN9 News reported Tuesday a seven-year-old claimed her teacher taped her to a chair. Now what happens?
The Hollinger Elementary second grader, Mia Kramer, showed KGUN9 how she said the teacher strapped her to a chair after Kramer kept getting out of it.
“It felt like something's happening to me and it's wrong,” she said, with her mother Maria Vasquez at her side.
Vasquez has made the same allegation.
Both the Tucson Police Department and Tucson Unified School District are looking in to exactly what happened inside that southwest side school.
“There's many sides to a story, and that you just have to do a really thorough investigation,” said Lisa McCorkle, who spent 35 years in Tucson schools as a teacher and then a principal.
McCorkle stepped down as principal earlier this year. She talked in general about what those investigations look like.
“Talking to the students, talking to the teacher, talking to other adults that might have been in the room,” she said, adding the process could take weeks.
If a student's unruly, what should a teacher do?
“Generally, if a situation is getting out of hand in a classroom, a teacher will call the office and ask for assistance from either the principal or other possible adults,” McCorkle said.
“You would say to the child, 'You need to go for a think time.' We called it ‘think time’ at our school,” she also said, “Go in to another classroom. That gives the child a chance to get out of the situation.”
McCorkle said a teacher could also take a break, although that can be difficult to do.
That’s an option Kramer's grandmother -- a former educator -- also pointed out.
“Buzz the office,” Maria “Toni” Gonzales said. “Have somebody come in and help you for ten minutes and walk out of there.”
McCorkle explained teachers also receive something called "intervention" training.
“We've been told from the get-go you should not touch students,” she said, adding cases in which student safety is in jeopardy are exceptions.
KGUN9 requested an interview with superintendent Dr. H.T. Sanchez Thursday afternoon about training and policies but did not hear back.
The district sent a statement to KGUN9 Wednesday, which read in part: “Obviously such behavior is not appropriate or acceptable and is not part of any district protocol.”
There are no charges against the teacher at this time.