LUMBERTON — A teacher with the Public Schools of Robeson County has been suspended while school officials investigate an allegation that she tied a first-grade student’s legs to a chair after the child refused to stay in her seat.
The alleged incident happened at Piney Grove Elementary before the Easter break. The teacher, Hillary Reedy, has been suspended indefinitely without pay, according to school board Chairman John Campbell. She could not be reached for this story.
Campbell said the board discussed the allegations during a closed session at Tuesday’s board meeting.
The student’s mother, Jacqueline Locklear, said she was told that Reedy used yarn to tie her daughter’s leg to her desk.
“She said she was being disruptive and she wouldn’t sit down,” Locklear said. “I don’t care what it was. There’s no reason to tie her legs to the chair. What if there had been a fire or a fire drill? It was uncalled for.”
Locklear said she doesn’t know how long her 6-year-old daughter was allegedly tied to the chair. She said another teacher came into the room and released the child, who was crying.
* Locklear said the incident happened on March 20, but she wasn’t notified until Tuesday when Reedy sent a note home.
Locklear said her daughter’s desk was separated from the rest of the students because of her behavior. She said she thought her daughter was joking when she told her parents what had happened.
“I should’ve been notified immediately,” Locklear said. “They could’ve called me and told me up front.”
Locklear said she met with central office personnel and was told that the incident didn’t cause any physical harm to her daughter.
“I told him that it probably caused mental harm because she was being picked at by the other students,” Locklear said.
The child has been moved to another first-grade class.
Campbell said the board instructed Superintendent Johnny Hunt and his staff to investigate the incident and report back to the board. Hunt couldn’t be reached.
“All I can say is that we received information from the administration about some issues related to a teacher’s behavior,” Campbell said. “The teacher has been suspended until further notice.
“I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. I hope it is not true. If there is any truth to it, there’s no way you can justify that kind of classroom management or lack thereof.”
A parent of another student at Piney Grove who alerted The Robesonian about the alleged incident was outraged.
“I’ve got two children at that school,” said the woman, who didn’t want her name used for this story. “I was so upset when I found out about what happened. I couldn’t believe it. She doesn’t need to teach if she doesn’t have any patience.”
HAVE YOU BEEN|
TO THE NEWSROOM?