Child reportedly spanked in front of class, teacher, custodian in trouble

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - Some angry Kilgore parents are calling for one teacher's job after a kindergartner was reportedly spanked in front of his classmates. The alleged incident happened Wednesday afternoon.

Stephanie Carter says that her 6-year-old daughter was scared to go back to school after what happened inside a Kilgore Heights classroom. Ms. Carter says that her daughter witnessed one of her classmates, a 5-year-old boy, misbehaving. She says the teacher, Ms. Sylvia Horton, was upset, left the classroom and later returned with one of the custodians, a Mr. Lanon Garrett.

Clements would not confirm the names of the teacher or the custodian, but he says the custodian is a related to the 5-year-old.

Carter says her daughter witnessed the little boy being bent over a chair in front the class and spanked. The district does use corporal punishment, but only in the presence of an administrator.

A letter was sent home to parents of students in the class, saying action had been taken, but Ms. Carter says the actions have not gone far enough.

"Any school district deems, as the most important thing, the safety and education of children, and if you have a first year teacher take that and tarnish it, using another child as an example and abuse them as a lesson, absolutely, she should be terminated," said Stephanie Carter, a concerned parent.

"My job is not to throw a brand new teacher away that has made a mistake of judgment," said Kilgore ISD Superintendent Jody Clements. "My responsibility is to support my students, parents and teachers, to try and work a situation out where we've had a bad incident."

The district says the teacher and custodian were suspended, this week, but will return to work, Monday. That is when the teacher, parents, students, and administrators are expected to meet again on the issue.

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