All parents send their kids off to school nervously hoping that they’ll be welcomed with open, loving arms by the teacher with whom they will spend their waking hours. I’d venture to say that most of the time, it works out. But of course, there are always “bad apples” in any profession, and one Miami, Florida kindergarten teacher is now under fire after a concerned mom sent her son to school with a recording device.
The Miami Herald reports that Kandy Escotto placed the recording device in her 5-year-old’s backpack after her son told her that he was “a bad boy,” and said that’s what his teacher called him. Escotto first went to the school principal at Banyan Elementary, but was told she needed proof. So, she sent the recording device to school with her son and then sat down to listen to 32 hours of audio from his kindergarten teacher.
What she heard appalled her and also gave her the proof she needed. In parts of the recording placed on Facebook by the Miami Herald, kindergarten teacher Rosalba Suarez, who the Herald reports was named Teacher of the Year this year, can be heard calling the boy and another child “losers,” and she repeatedly tells the boy, “I feel sorry for your mom”, and also says, “She’s driving me crazy.”
Umm…WHAT? I don’t THINK SO, lady! Can you imagine how you would feel if this were your child?
You can listen to about a minute and a half of the recording below; Suarez’s tone is beyond condescending and rude, and combined with her words and attitude, most certainly did damage to the poor child. I found it very difficult to listen to, and by the end I was steaming mad.
“I feel sorry for your mom. I really do.” A kindergarten teacher was caught calling a 5-year-old a “loser” after his mom secretly recorded the class. https://hrld.us/2KTJjCs
Posted by Miami Herald on Thursday, July 5, 2018
You can hear Escotto’s son Aaron meekly responding to his kindergarten teacher, and his little voice is heartbreaking. When he is heard telling her that he doesn’t want to do an assignment, Suarez says, “I don’t care, don’t do it, you think I care? Whatever your mom wants to see, honey, whatever your mom wants to see, you tell me what she wants to see a nice job or she wants to see a loser’s job.”
WHAT? I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!! As a mother I would be horrified and enraged if a teacher talked to my child like that, especially a five-year-old. No child deserves to be spoken to in that manner, but especially not by his kindergarten teacher. Suarez’s words and tone are cruel and humiliating.
Escotto was of course, devastated and enraged to hear Suarez berating her son on tape. “For me to hear the things that she was saying to him,” Escotto said. “She picked him out, she singled him out, she humiliated him in front of the whole class. She talked about me in front of him. No 5-year-old should be able to go through that. That affected my family, affected him.”
Escotto’s further meetings with the school and Suarez (who denied she had said what was on the tape) resulted in her son being moved to another classroom, where his grades instantly improved. She also got a lawyer, who notified the school district of Escotto’s allegations against Suarez back in November. Though she received an acknowledgement from Gallagher Bassett, the district’s third-party and self-funded administrator for its workers’ compensation and liability program, which investigates claims and determines liability, nothing was ever done.
Escotto’s lawyer decided to let the case sit for a bit and make sure it was “legally sound,” and then finally went public with the charges against Suarez at a press conference last week. Only then did the Miami Dade school district respond, saying,
“Miami-Dade County Public Schools goes to great lengths to promote a culture of dignity and respect, not only among our students but with our employees. “We work diligently to ensure the well-being of every child entrusted to our care. Any action that runs contrary to the values we instill in our school community will not be tolerated. The district will conduct a thorough review of this matter and, if the allegations are substantiated, we will take any and all appropriate disciplinary actions.”
It boggles my mind how a school district could be so slow to move on this issue when there was recorded proof of the teacher’s verbal abuse as far back as last fall! Perhaps their reluctance to confront the issue is one reason Escotto says she isn’t sure if her son and 10-year-old daughter will be returning to Banyan Elementary this fall, even though she says her kids have had excellent teachers there in general.
“It’s sad that we have to get to this point to get a response from somebody to look into this complaint that I put in a long time ago,” she told the Herald.
I have to agree Mrs. Escotto. It’s beyond sad that your son was in this position and that he was put there by a kindergarten teacher who is supposed to be a caring educator. That she was named “Teacher of the Year” during when all this was happening boggles the mind. I hope and pray this kindergarten teacher gets the proper discipline so she can never inflict this kind of verbal abuse on a child again.
Has your child ever been mistreated by a teacher? What did you do about it?