8/29/2014

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Family says teacher bruised 7-year-old's neck

Family says teacher bruised 7-year-old's neck

YAKIMA, Wash.-- New reports of a teacher getting rough with a student in the classroom have come out this time in West Valley. A seven-year-old girl's family complained after she came home bruised. KIMA brought it to the school district to get answers. The district is standing by the teacher.

A seven-year-old girl comes home from school with a purple blotch on the back of her neck. Her mother thought it came from a magic marker. When she asked her daughter to wash it off, she realized it was a bruise.

"I was angry, very angry," the girl's grandma said. "You know, there's a lot of child abuse out in the world."

It's a sensitive issue for the family and only the girl's grandmother would speak with KIMA. The family tells KIMA the girl was scared to say what happened at first. But, she eventually told them her teacher squeezed the back of her neck and dragged her across the classroom because she didn't finish her school work.

"My granddaughter loved her teacher," she said.
 
The family complained to the school's principal and the district's superintendent. KIMA called West Valley Superintendent Michael Brophy. He tells us the district conducted an internal investigation, but didn't find anything to substantiate the claims. The girl switched classes and the teacher is still on the job.

"I think they should have been, more been done," the girl's grandma said. "I think she should have been put on leave until a bigger investigation."

The superintendent says police weren't needed. It's a different approach than what's happening in the Mabton School District. A high school teacher there is on administrative leave while under investigation for striking a student. That teacher is charged with fourth degree assault.

Brophy said there was no evidence. KIMA could still see the bruise more than a week after it happened. We asked if a bruise like this prompts an investigation or even a call to child protective services regardless of who did it. He abruptly ended our phone call.

"If it was their kid would they like that to happen?" she said.

The family is now considering other options, like possibly filing a police report or home-schooling the girl.

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