- The Washington Times - Monday, August 4, 2014

A Texas family is trying to remove their children from a Houston elementary school after they say a first-grade teacher removed their daughter’s desk and made her sit on the floor for 22 days as punishment.

The family told a local ABC affiliate that their daughter, a first-grader at Westwood Elementary School, was punished in May for drawing on her desk in pencil.

“We had been told that she had written on her desk,” the girl’s mother, who did not want to be identified, told the station. “She was sent to the principal’s office, she was made to write a letter to the janitor and lose recess and wash the desk herself.”

But unbeknownst to the girl’s parents, her desk was also removed and she was forced to sit on the floor every day for the next 22 days.

“She said, ‘Daddy, I don’t have a desk.’ He said, ‘What you mean?’ She said, ‘I don’t have a desk, I sit on the floor with the clipboard,’” the girl’s mother told the station.

The family has been trying to transfer their daughter and younger son out of the school, but she apparently can’t get into the school they want because of enrollment caps.

Spring Branch Independent School District said in a statement to the station:

“Spring Branch ISD has investigated the circumstances regarding the classroom management at one of our elementary schools. As the parents have acknowledged, the teacher involved has been appropriately reprimanded. The family has been offered multiple opportunities to transfer their child, either to another teacher within the school or to any elementary school in the District where enrollment is not capped, but instead they chose to file a grievance. The District is therefore working cooperatively with the family through the grievance process. The well-being of this and every other student in SBISD is always our priority.”

The girl’s mother has hired an attorney in hopes the district will make an exception.

“I read the policy. I understand with the transfer policy is,” the mother told the station. “That’s for a regular student transfer. What happened to my daughter is not a regular occurrence that should’ve happened.”