Entries in Elementary School (4)


Parent Tardiness Lands Kindergarten Student in Detention

Courtesy Loeffler Family(SAN ANTONIO) -- Brooke Loeffler, a 6-year-old kindergarten student, was put in detention after her parents dropped her off late to Olympia Elementary School in San Antonio for a third time.

Brooke’s parents, Brad and Erika Loeffler, who both work full-time and have a newborn baby with medical issues at home, say they both thought that it was unfair to punish a small child for something she has no control over.

In fact, Erika Loeffler says she offered to volunteer at the school doing anything from working with kids to cleaning tables, instead of having Brooke serve detention. “I’ll do the time,” Erika said.

“We tried to explain the situation to the vice principal and principal,” Erika Loeffler said. “They were very cold and not understanding of the circumstances.”

Steve Lindscomb, director of public information at Judson Independent School District, says that the tardy policy has been in effect for approximately three years, and each parent signs off on it when their child enrolls.

“Each year, parents are asked to look over the policy and sign it,” Lindscomb said. “We have the document that they (Brian and Erika) signed off on, and they also signed for the detention to go on.”

The school works with parents to make detention more doable. In the Loeffler case, Brooke Loeffler was allowed to split the hour detention into two days during the lunch period because she couldn’t stay after school when detention would normally take place. Also, she did not sit by herself either day. Her father sat with her the first day and her grandmother sat with her the second day.

“I’ll say that it sounds too young for detention, and that’s why we worked with the students and their parents, Lindscomb said. “But we do need to have some level of consistency because some parents would be upset that some people got a little attitude and some did not, but we do make allowances for age appropriate treatment.”

According to Ericka, a second grade elementary teacher, the school district was untruthful in their Facebook post about working with them.

“They were not working with us,” Erika said. “They first told us it would not count if one of us sat with her.”

The Loefflers told ABC News that the school has no absence policy, only a tardy policy, and that they might consider having to make Brooke skip a full day of school rather than be late and risk another detention. This, she says, is not a choice parents should have to make.

Kelly Reid, treasurer of the Parent Teacher Organization at Olympia Elementary School, warned that the Loefflers could face legal problems if they were to keep their daughter out of school.

Reid cited the school district handbook, which states, “a court of law may also impose penalties against both the student and his or her parents if a school-aged student is deliberately not attending school.” That clause can be invoked if a child misses 10 days in a six month period or three days in a four week period.

Erika Loeffler says that as an educator, she understands the tardiness rule, but she suggested implementing a positive reinforcement approach instead. In other words, instead of punishing late students, they could reward the ones who are consistently on time.

“She’s a very good student,” Brad Loeffler said about his daughter.  “She never causes any trouble at school. According to her teacher, they use a color system to rate their performance of the day, and she [Brooke] always gets the top color or the one right below it. She’s very polite and shy to people she doesn’t know. I don’t think she has ever caused any trouble at all.”

However, Lindscomb explains that the policy is effective in reducing tardiness at Olympia.

“Definitely since the rule was put in place about three years ago they’ve cut tardies down from 90-95 percent, but that doesn’t mean we don’t work with each student in terms of age-appropriateness and family situation.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Seattle Area Girl in Critical Condition After Classroom Shooting

David De Lossy/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) -- A Seattle area third-grader is in critical condition Thursday after being shot in the abdomen when a gun went off in her classroom.

Amina Bowman, 8, was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center after the gun discharged from another student’s backpack around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to police in Bremerton, Wash.  Upon arrival, she was quickly rushed into surgery, ABC News' Seattle affiliate KOMO reported.

Armin Jahr Elementary School was put into immediate lockdown after the incident.

“She had the kids sit, get underneath their desks and then made sure that the kids were accounted for,” MaryLou Tucker, a parent of a student at the school, said of the teacher.

Students streamed from the school into the arms of worried parents minutes after the incident.

A friend says Bowman’s mother was in disbelief when the school called.

“She’s a sweet little girl, and I don’t know what to do,” Lori Morsette told ABC News. “I’m trying to be supportive for my friends, and I’m trying to be there for them.  Right now, they’re at the hospital.”

Although it’s still unclear how the third-grader obtained a gun, the boy was taken into custody and booked into Kitsap County Juvenile Detention Center on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, bringing a weapon to school and assault, according to Bremerton police.

“We do have the other student and the weapon with us at this time,” Lt. Pete Fisher of the Bremerton Police Department told ABC News.

The gun was found inside the classroom as angry parents outside questioned how something like this could even happen.

Bremerton schools spokesman Patty Glaser said that the school will reopen on Thursday, and that three counselors will talk to teachers, students and parents.

“Students will continue to be safe at school, school will continue tomorrow, we will have grief counselors on site,” Glaser said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Entire Los Angeles Elementary School Staff Removed Amid Molestation Charges

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Amid allegations that two of its teachers committed lewd acts on students, a Los Angeles elementary school will be wiped clean of all of its staff while investigations into the accusations continue.

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy made the announcement Monday night while meeting with parents.  He said everyone from the principal to the janitors at Miramonte Elementary School will be removed and replaced. The new staff is scheduled to take over on Thursday when classes resume.

"I can't have any more surprises at Miramonte, even though the police will do what they have to do.  And if there are no more, thank God.  We deal with the horror and the tragedy I have already.  And if there are more, then we will have to deal with that," Deasy said.

Last week, third grade teacher Mark Berndt was arrested for allegedly abusing 23 students, ages 7 to 10, between 2008 and 2010.  According to officials, the 61-year-old blindfolded and sometimes gagged children, spoon-feeding some of them his semen and placing live cockroaches on the faces of others.

Berndt, who's being held on $23 million bail, was busted when a worker at a film processing outlet turned over photos of the alleged abuse to police.

A few days after Berndt's arrest, another teacher at Miramonte was placed behind bars for molesting some of his students.  Martin Springer, 49, is accused of fondling two girls over the past three years.

"I am outraged, disgusted," Deasy said, referring to the allegations.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Kids Ingest Cocaine at Washington, D.C. Elementary School

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Four students at a Washington elementary school ingested cocaine brought to the school by a classmate Wednesday, school officials said.

Some of the kids who ingested the cocaine did so orally and others inhaled it through their noses, according to Fred Lewis, a spokesman for D.C. Schools. He said they were hospitalized as a precaution, as was a fifth student who did not ingest the drug.

The children were being examined at the Children's National Medical Center, according to spokeswoman Paula Dart, and all were in good condition. She could not comment on whether they would be kept overnight or when they'd be released.

The pupil who brought the drug to share has been charged with possession of a controlled substance, Lewis said.

The names and ages of the students have not been released.  The school runs from preschool to fifth grade and is located in the Northwest area of the capital.

Parents were told what happened by voicemail and a letter that was sent home with all students, according to spokeswoman Sofiya Simmons.

Parents were staggered to learn the news when they picked their kids up at school. "This is just really shocking to me, I have no words right now," said Myisha Wallace, who has a son in 4th grade. "I'm not going to really lay blame on the school because I love this school, my son has been going to this school for several years, my daughter is a former student at this school, so I'm not going to say that the school is responsible."

Stuart Hovell said he was "disgusted" and was going to take his daughter out of the school. "They told me as soon as I showed up to pick her up, the kids did -- that some kids was dealing drugs. ...I don't know -- it's sad."

"This is not a situation that is typical at Thomson, and we take it very seriously," Principal Albert Dupont wrote in the letter. He said one of the students involved alerted a teacher to the incident, and police were called and confirmed the substance was cocaine.

Parents received another voicemail update Thursday. There is no school this Friday because of previously scheduled teacher meetings, but counselors will come to Thomson on Monday "to educate students about the dangers of drugs," Lewis said.

Police are investigating but would not comment.

The school was recommended to President Obama for his daughters in 2008 in an article in the Washington Post, which called it an "educational gem."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio