11-Year-Old Girl Suspended After Reporting Teacher For Bullying

You’d like to think that ultimately, good conquers evil. Sometimes you have to do something that’s not right in order to prove that something else wrong is happening, and you want to believe that your bad thing would then get overlooked. Unfortunately, that’s not always the way the world works, and sometimes you learn the hard way that the world isn’t fair.

Take, for example, Brianna Cooper, an 11-year-old girl from Florida who was suspended for five days after she recorded her teacher saying nasty things about another student in the class. Cooper had been witnessing the bullying for a while, but she knew that if she didn’t have proof, no one would believe her.

“You think that they would actually believe a student over a teacher,” Brianna said, explaining her rationale behind recording the situation.

She decided to use her cellphone to record what her teacher was saying and prove that she was being a bully. Brianna took the recording to another teacher, and not long after she was called to the principal’s office to let her know what she did was illegal. As it turns out, in Florida you cannot record a teacher without their consent.

Florida law states:

Florida makes it a crime to intercept or record a “wire, oral, or electronic communication” in Florida, unless all parties to the communication consent.

Florida law makes an exception for in-person communications when the parties do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the conversation, such as when they are engaged in conversation in a public place where they might reasonably be overheard.

“I thought I did the right thing,” Brianna said. “I never had anybody tell me I couldn’t record.”

The comments made by the teacher towards another student were appalling.

“Biggest kid in 5th grade and you’re acting like the smallest one” the teacher can be heard saying. “I wonder what your mom looks like. Don’t let the size fool you. I will drop you. You don’t know me. That’s all I’m telling you. So don’t give me no look.”

Brianna’s mom, Cassie Faulkner, was upset when she heard about not only the comments, but also her daughter’s suspension from school.

“You don’t speak to children, let alone your students like that,” Cassie said. “She thought she was doing a good thing. She’s 11 years old. She doesn’t know the law. You’re pretty much saying to students, ‘If you think anything is wrong, don’t try and do anything about it.'”

The school didn’t comment on the suspension of Brianna, but they did acknowledge the comments made by their teacher.

“The staff at Sam Gaines Academy investigated the incident involving unprofessional behavior by the teacher and took swift, appropriate action,” the school said. “The teacher was dismissed and no longer works for the school system.”

To me, this is a case of school’s protecting their teachers ahead of their students, which shouldn’t be the case. Despite the school firing that teacher, they still suspended a student for a full week just for reporting an unsafe environment. I understand there are laws, but should they not be ignored when the safety of children is involved?

[H/T: WPTV]

What do you think of this situation?

Cafeteria Worker Fired After Feeding Student With No Money

Stories like this always aggravate me, because they remind me that the school system is more concerned about money than the well-being of their students. Bonnie Kimball, who operated the cash register at Mascoma Valley Regional High School, was fired from her position at the school after she let a student take his lunch without paying because he didn’t have any money left in his lunch account.

Kimball loved her job at the school, where she got to talk to the school’s 326 students about life, their problems, and the general happenings of their day.  

“We didn’t even call it work,” Kimball said of working at the school. “We got up in the morning, we took care of our families and we went to take care of the kids.”

On March 28th, a student came in to the line with a tray of food, but Kimball noticed he didn’t have any money left in his account. Instead of having the student go hungry for the day, Kimball let him take the food with a promise to bring the money. Unfortunately, there happened to be a district manager for Cafe Services, the company who runs the school’s cafeteria.

“When I rang him up, the student didn’t have any money on their account,” Kimball said. “So, I have a district manager here, my boss has told me ‘Don’t cause any scenes with the contract’ and I quietly said ‘tell (your) mom you need money.’”

The next day, Kimball was called in to the manager’s office and was fired. The reasoning? They claimed that she had “stolen” the food from the company. She was escorted out of the building.

“It was my life for five years. I went and I took care of another family,” she said. “You don’t just lose a family member, be OK and move on.”

Two fellow co-workers were so upset with Kimball’s termination, they quit their jobs on the spot. Parents of some students have also voice displeasure with the way the school and cafe company handled the situation.

“These guys really took care of our kids. They put our kids first and their focus was really our kids,” said Christina Moodie, whose son attends the high school. I know Bonnie went above and beyond for the kids.”

Cafe Services hasn’t responded to requests for comment on the situation, but in their termination letter to Kimball, they made their point very clear.

“On March 28, a District manager was on-site and witnessed a student coming through the line with multiple food items that you did not charge him for,” said the letter, which Kimball shared with the Valley News. “This is a strict violation of our Cash Handling Procedures, the Schools Charge Policy and Federal Regulation governing free meals.”

Kimball is now out of work, and she’s concerned that this mark on her record could ultimately affect her job search in the future.

“I’m just dealing with so much right now: the public, paperwork. One minute I’m mad and the next minute, I just want to forget it all happened,” she said. “I guess I’m mourning my job.”

She says, however, that it’s not the school district’s fault, and that the officials from the board have been supportive and encouraging during this situation. Cookie Hebert, chairman of Mascoma Valley Regional School Board, wouldn’t comment directly on Kimball’s situation, but she did say that Kimball was just following the rules set out by the district.

“The policy is that the student be fed,” Hebert said. “There’s no refusal.”

After the story went viral, the company offered Kimball her job back, saying they would pay her for the work she missed.  

“We had a recent situation where an employee violated school and company policy in dealing with our food service and our district manager made a decision he felt was right at the time,” said Brian Stone, president of the company’s school division.

Amanda Isabelle, the district superintendent, also said the school would hire Kimball back.

“The events of these past few weeks and the feedback I have received from parents has given me considerable pause,” Isabelle said in the statement. “As a school district, we understand the importance of rules and procedures, but upon reflection, I have become sufficiently convinced that it is wrong of us to assume that all the responsibility falls to the vendor, and I do not believe our communities would accept that explanation of this situation. We must be accountable for the people who work in our schools.”

Despite the offer, the former lunch lady won’t be returning.

“They’re not doing it for me, they are doing it to save face,” Kimball noted.

Personally, I think it’s ridiculous for a company to fire Kimball because she was allowing a student to eat, especially because the parent did pay the $8 for the food. Sometimes, politics need to be put aside and the well-being of our kids needs to be the focus.

What do you think of this situation?

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