ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) - An educator at East Lake Elementary in Atlanta has been temporarily removed following allegations that the unidentified accused party spanked a 4-year-old student in class with a shoe.
The pre-kindergarten student, named Shamiya, told WGCL-TV – and the Atlanta Police Department – that the teacher pulled her out of a music class, then removed both her skirt and her underwear before administering the spanking with a shoe.
Keith Bromery, the Director of Media Relations for Atlanta Public Schools, specified that this educator, a teacher’s aide, has been reassigned to other duties and denied further contact with children until a resolution is reached.
“We have an office of internal resolution that sends agents and investigators… (to) try to get to the bottom of what happened,” he said, adding that if the allegations are true, there could be significant consequences. “It could be anything from suspension up to dismissal, depending on the situation.”
Virginia Leslie, grandmother of Shamiya, was outraged over the incident.
“I thought spankings (weren’t) done at school,” Leslie told the station. “What gives a (teacher’s aide) - who is not related whatsoever - the right to whup a child? Not just to whup them, but to pull their underpants down?”
Bromery also noted the unique nature of these circumstances.
“I’ve been here for two years, and I haven’t heard of any other corporal punishment allegations of this nature,” he said, adding that he cannot speak for the time previous to his tenure with Atlanta Public Schools.
Leslie feels the incident has not been properly handled thus far, and Shamiya has not been back to school for a week. Leslie filed a police report Monday.
“I just don’t want to put her back up there,” she told the station, who felt that transferring her to another school – a suggestion Leslie says the school district offered – was an unfair solution.
Calls to the Atlanta Police Department’s Public Relations office have so far not been returned.