Teacher Investigated for Alleged Student Abuse - 8 News NOW

Teacher Investigated for Alleged Student Abuse

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LAS VEGAS - Eight-year-old Eric tries to describe how his teacher allegedly pulled his hair and yanked his head.

"Like this," he said. "Yeah, her whole fist."

Eric is diagnosed with severe emotional disturbances and occasionally exhibits aggressive tendencies.

"He's just a sweetheart that has some anger tendencies, so he would never purposely hurt anybody," said his parent Pamela Smallwood.

Eric's parents say they learned from the principal at Variety School that Eric's teacher is under investigation for illegally touching their son.

"Angry... furious really. I like to think that when I send my child to school that he is going into a safe environment," said Eric's parent James Smallwood.

According to a notice from the Clark County School District, a witness said when Eric returned from recess, he "cursed at (the) teacher and slapped (the) teacher on (the) neck." The witness then said the "teacher grabbed (the) student's hair three times, pulling hard enough to jerk his head."

"It's a special school. These teachers know what they're getting into going to this school," Pamela Smallwood said.

The school district couldn't comment directly about the investigation except to say it takes all allegations and the safety of students seriously and, generally speaking, a teacher pulling a student's hair is not acceptable.

"Generally, corporal punishment or that kind of contact is typically not permitted," said Clark County School District Psychological Services Director Robert Weires.

Teachers are required to undergo state certified training and learn how to defend against students who become physical.

"It's all about interacting or not interacting with the student in terms of controlling the situation to make sure it doesn't go to the next level," Weires said.

Eric's parents allege his teacher clearly forgot that training.

"Ideally in a perfect world, I'd like to see her lose her teaching credential and never be able to see her set foot in a classroom ever again," James Smallwood said. "If she's done this to him, how many other kids has she done this to? If she's done it once, what's to stop her from doing it again?"

Eric's teacher is still allowed in the classroom during the investigation and faces a number of disciplinary actions.

Eric was wearing a bandage on his face during the taping of this story. It should be pointed out, however, the injury has nothing to do with the incident under investigation.

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