Northside K-8 School parent Tiffany Terry would like Warren County Schools to remove one of the school’s teachers after saying that her son was humiliated by the educator on Sept. 10.
Terry described what happened on social media and spoke with the newspaper. According to her account, her son has physical education just before class with only a few minutes to change from gym clothes back into school uniform. Terry said that on Sept. 10, her son’s teacher said that the boys in her class smelled “musty” when they came in, and devoted class time to pinpoint the source of the odor. She indicated that the teacher called out her son with such comments as “Do your parents buy you deodorant?” and suggesting that the P.E. teacher should be teaching the students a refresher course instead of letting them run around.
Terry said that she became especially upset that the teacher sprayed air freshener in the area where her son was because he takes prescription medication for numerous allergies.
Terry told the newspaper that she met with Northside Principal Monica Click and the teacher the following day. In her account, Terry indicates that she told the teacher about her son’s allergies and concerns that the chemicals in the air freshener could have caused an allergic reaction. She also told the teacher that her son’s allergies are not severe enough to require an epinephrine auto-injector, commonly known as an EpiPen, but the teacher told her she carries an EpiPen at all times.
“I lost all my cool by this point,” Terry said in her account, describing the teacher’s behavior as being humiliating and embarrassing for her son and an example of bullying.
She told the newspaper that on Sept. 13, she spoke with Warren County Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Mary Young, who said that the incident remains an open investigation.
Young told the newspaper on Monday that the school system continues to investigate the matter and is also investigating whether and how teachers are notified of student allergies.
Warren County Schools’ Director of Human Resources Dr. Keedra Whitaker told the newspaper on Tuesday that the educator has worked as a middle grades teacher at Northside since July 2017, with an approximate annual salary of $47,000, and has not held other positions with the school district.
Whitaker said that the teacher is currently an active employee with Warren County Schools.
Terry said that she not only wants the teacher removed, but also held accountable for behavior she described as unacceptable, degrading and disrespectful. The mother added that the teacher should not be allowed to teach in any school or be with children.
Terry added that her son attends Northside because she thought he would excel in a smaller school setting rather than the larger Warren County Middle School.
She said that she wants her son to remain as comfortable as possible while the school system investigates the incident. She told the newspaper that she has shown him the love that he has received through other people’s supportive comments about her account on social media.
However, Terry said that her son felt embarrassed about what happened last week, and she does not want the incident to discourage him.
“He’s really doing well in school this year; he’s improving,” she said. “I don’t want this to cause a setback.”