MEXICO - Mexico mother Andi Green addressed the Mexico School Board behind closed doors Tuesday evening about an issue the mother claims her nine-year-old daughter Maya had with her teacher. Green and Maya say Maya's fourth grade teacher at McMillan Elementary pushed her in class and left her with a small bruise. Now, they're looking for the public school system to own up to the alleged incident.
"We were all lining up to go back to our class and all the boys started to push," Maya said. "I was about to fall down, so I pushed [one of the boys] back and the teacher came up and pushed me against the SMART Board and then she says ‘How do you like it?'"
"That's something you say after you've done something," Green said.
Green said the board members were very receptive to what she had to say. She said they asked her if she'd be willing to sit down with the teacher involved in the situation and come up with a solution.
The family says the alleged incident happened on Sept. 18. Green said she spoke in person with the school principal, Dr. Kerri Criner, the following day. Green said she asked Criner to put her family on the school board's agenda for its upcoming meeting and Criner agreed she would try. On Sept. 20, the teacher called Green and her daughter to apologize, but Green said the teacher did not admit to shoving her daughter. However, Green says the teacher did admit to getting in her personal space and startling her.
"In the beginning all I wanted was a sincere apology," Green said, "that she admitted she had done something wrong and meant it. But she never admitted she touched Maya."
Following the teacher's apology, Green submitted a police report, but the police did not take up the case. She said the school nurse examined Maya's bruise, but could not say for sure if the teacher had caused it.
Mexico Public Schools Superindentent Kevin Freeman said the whole incident has been a series of misunderstandings.
In a written statement, Freeman told KOMU:
"This is a personnel matter and we do not discuss those in the media. I spoke to the mother and she was afforded the opportunity to speak to the school board during their closed session, which is where personnel matters are discussed. The administration fully investigated the situation following all protocols, policies and legal requirements. The district found that the claims were unsubstantiated. The school board is fully appraised of this situation."
Green said she was not told she could speak at tonight's closed school board session until she told the superintendant she was taking her story to the media.
Maya has since been removed from the fourth grade teacher's class and has been offered an opportunity to transfer schools. Green said she will remove Maya from the school district if a solution is not reached.