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 Principal Suspended During Investigation of Teacher

Parents Concerned Over Preschool Teacher's Behavior

Is it teacher misconduct or simply a teacher doing her job? Some concerned parents turned exclusive video over to KRIS 6 News.

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6 months ago

Principal Suspended During Investigation of Teacher

CORPUS CHRISTI - We have an update to a story you saw exclusively on KRIS 6 News concerning accusations of student mistreatment at the hands of a veteran teacher.

Today, the principal at the Early Childhood Development Center was suspended with pay. This comes after someone provided KRIS 6 News with undercover video showing a teacher in the pre-K class manhandling 3 and 4 year old students.

The district suspended the teacher last week after they were shown the video. She has decades of experience in the classroom. Parents of current and past students also came forward with concerns that their complaints about the teacher were ignored.

Several parents hoped to meet with the superintendent to complain today. Administrators helped guide them through the process of filing a formal complaint.

The parents also hope to visit with police to find out about any potential criminal charges.

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7 months ago

Parents Claim Prior Complaints Against Preschool Teacher Went Ignored

CORPUS CHRISTI -- Exclusive video obtained by 6 News is sparking outrage among parents tonight.

The video shows a preschool teacher in her class filled with 3 and 4-year-olds. In the video, she grabs students by the arm, pokes at them with a pointer, yells and even swats towards one girl's face.

That video led to the suspension of the teacher, while Corpus Christi Independent School District administrators investigate.

Many of the parents who have children in the classroom came to KRIS 6 News' studios to watch the video for themselves.

They tell us they've complained before and they are upset it took our report and this video to have the teacher removed.

Parents have shared emails detailing prior complaints they launched on the teacher with her and the principal.

A Texas A&M student who monitored the classroom as part of her degree plan in 2012 also says she notified her program directors that she felt best practices were not being followed in that teacher's classroom.

So, the question for many parents today is why did it take so long?

The two minute video that shows a series of clips edited down from hours of the undercover video brought several parents in the room to tears.

"Its not just the actions where she physically grabs the children or points at them, its her face, her tone, and kids notice that," one mom said while holding back her tears.

Watching as their children are yelled at or manhandled is not easy. But it's more difficult to see this after the parents say they've launched several complaints before.

In February, one mom sent an email to the teacher saying "a four-year-old should not tell me he hates school." She goes on to say she feels her son is "isolated and belittled in class."

She says the emails led to no action.

Others say they filed complaints last year when their older children were in this same classroom. Ashley Garza has a child in the class now, but her son also attended class with the same teacher last year. "He was like she spanked my hand, and I was like, no she didn't she wouldn't do that," Garza told us about the complaint.

Last year, her son did not want to go back to class; this year, her daughter is the little girl in purple, seen sitting in the front of the class when the teacher can be seen swatting toward her face.

In another video, the teacher grabs the same little girl by the arm.

Her parents say they have no doubt the complaints they launched about their son should have been taken more seriously.

"Now, we believe it, because that's our daughter that she's grabbing and yelling in her face," said the little girl's father.

The parents tell us they complained to the principal, Dr. Susan Galvan-Luis.

Yesterday, she referred us to the district for comment, today, she did not return our phone call or email.

KRIS 6 News also attempted to contact the teacher seen in the video. She did not answer or return our call.

CCISD has suspended the teacher with pay during their investigation.

The Early Childhood Development Center staff have told the parents the teacher will not return to class this year.

The district is continuing their investigation today. They tell us they never received any district level complaints, but they are now conducting a thorough investigation.

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7 months ago

Parents Concerned Over Preschool Teacher's Behavior

CORPUS CHRISTI -- Is it teacher misconduct or simply a teacher doing her job? Some concerned parents turned exclusive video over to KRIS 6 News.

It was taken inside a pre-school classroom for 3 & 4 year olds in a special dual language program. The concerned parents say the tape shows inappropriate, and unprofessional conduct by the teacher.

We showed the tape to Corpus Christi Independent School District administrators who say the teacher crossed the line.

A handful of parents who watched the video say they're disturbed by it, in fact watching it brought one mom to tears. Others may feel it depicts a teacher doing the best she can under difficult conditions.

"You're not listening to anything that we're doing because your playing," the teacher said while nudging at one student. "You follow along with him," she ordered while elbowing at the girl.

Add to that the yelling. "Okay stop," the teacher exclaimed in one clip, "you go around and way you were, don't go near him at all you understand me? Don't go near him, sit down."

Other portions of the tape show the teacher grabbing at her students. "Pon atencion," she exclaimed while grabbing one girl's arm.

She also can be seen prodding at students with a pointer. Some parents found this troubling.

"She actually grabbed my son there," one parent said while viewing the video.

We showed the video to CCISD administration who said the teacher's actions were inappropriate by district standards.

"This is definitely something that we are going to look into, this is not any type of behavior that we would condone," spokesperson Lorette Williams told us after viewing our video.

Administrators also took issue with the teacher using her cell phone in the classroom and will reference this tape during their investigation.

Some in our newsroom don't feel there's anything wrong with the teacher's behavior, they felt like it's a sign of the changing times and discipline.

We did by the way check with the Texas Education Agency on any previous complaints against this teacher. They're not done checking with all departments, but a check of most of them reveals no prior issues.

This teacher has been licensed since 1982.

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