HOUSTON – One middle school student and her mother are outraged by the behavior of a Mead Middle School teacher who was caught on video yelling at a student and intentionally breathing on her.
The video has gone viral since the incident took place on Sept. 17 at the school, according to the district.
“[The teacher] could have acted differently. You know, a different way,” Maria Garza, the student’s mother said. Maria said was shocked and angered by the video she saw of her daughter being disciplined by her teacher.
The video, which was taken by 8th-grade students, shows the teacher yelling at a student, taking off her mask and intentionally breathing on the student. The student, 14-year-old Jacqueline Garza, said the teacher also swore at her.
“She called me the ‘B’ word,” Jacqueline said.
Jacqueline said the teacher had asked the students not to use their phones in class.
“We were using our phones and she asked us not to use our phones,” Jacqueline said. “I was like, ‘Okay.’ And she was like, ‘Okay.’ And we went back and forth and she said, ‘Don’t disrespect me like that.’”
Soon, Jacqueline said the teacher started acting inappropriately.
“That’s when she got in my face and she said, ‘Don’t disrespect me!’ She was breathing on my face with her mask off, spitting on my face,” Jacqueline said. “It made me feel embarrassed and scared, not just for me, but my whole class.”
“I was angry,” Maria said.
Jaqueline said the teacher then swore at her and eventually knocked her phone out of her hand.
“She had to slap it out of my hands,” Jacqueline said.
“As a mother, I work hard to get her what she needs,” Maria said. “For a teacher or for anyone to break someone’s belongings is totally uncalled for.”
Aldine ISD issued the following statement regarding the incident:
Student safety is a top priority for Aldine ISD. The district is aware of the incident. After being notified of the incident, the teacher was removed from the classroom and an investigation was conducted. The investigation has concluded and the district will take appropriate administrative action. The teacher’s conduct is unacceptable and violates the district’s standards of conduct. We take our responsibility seriously to ensure a safe learning environment for all students. The district is reviewing all consequences, including termination. The teacher has not returned to the classroom since the incident occurred on Sept. 17.
Maria Garza said the teacher and Aldine ISD need to be held accountable, saying the teacher did not handle things correctly.
“If my daughter was misbehaving, [the teacher] could have called the principal. She could have called the assistant principal, possibly another teacher or the security on campus,” Maria said. “To be getting in her face, I don’t even do that to her.”