Letter: Parent alleges mistreatment at Ridgecrest Elementary

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Dear Editor, 

My family and I recently moved here from North Carolina. We have seen some very disturbing patterns with some of the faculty and the bus drivers that work for Ridgecrest Elementary. My objective is to make every parent and care giver aware about the verbal, physical, and emotional abuse at Ridgecrest, the statistics that prove negative attitudes from teachers hurt the child’s performance and what can be done to improve it.

My nine-year-old son observed his classmates being put in the sitting position on the class wall for minutes at a time, when the vice principal of the school learned about this, he told me that the school had not given the teachers permission to discipline the children in this manner. My son would ask a question and is ignored or not answered. Several times a day he witnessed his homeroom teacher calling students dumb and stupid. One day I was in the office, there was a young man who was waiting on his mother and eating an orange, a faculty member began yelling at him and made him throw his orange away. He looked hungry and weak.

A study to determine the effects of teachers’ attitudes on students’ personality and performance, conducted in 2011, concluded that negative attitudes from teachers effected the performance and personality of the children. Positive actions support a healthy learning environment. According to a 2017 article by CNN.com, between 1999-2015 there were over 1300 deaths of elementary students, age 13 and under, by suicide. As a parent, one death by suicide should be enough.

Education brings value to oneself and positive actions from teachers and administrators supports a healthy learning environment. I want all our children to be successful and I would hope that their teachers feel the same way, so let’s get involved.

April Archie

Phenix City, Ala.