WASHINGTON - Parents are demanding answers after cell phone video surfaced showing kids at John Tyler Elementary School cleaning a cafeteria floor as punishment. But some say this is not the only time the teacher behind this discipline has crossed the line.
"It wasn’t just one time, it was more than one,” a fourth grade student at the school told FOX 5.
She said throughout an entire school year on different occasions, her then-third grade teacher at the Southeast D.C. school would hit her and her classmates as a form of discipline.
Parents say the same teacher forced these students on their hands and knees to scrub the cafeteria floor.
“That's not how you discipline a child,” said the student’s mother. “She's hit, she's pinched. There have been times that the kids didn't eat lunch, but they would order pizza or get treated to ice cream so they won’t run home and tell mommy or dad.”
D.C. Public Schools says the video of the student's cafeteria floor cleaning was from two years ago and was the result of a food fight that ensued two years ago. Parents say it wasn’t until the video surfaced earlier this week that they now believe their children.
“I didn't believe my child at first, but I talked to a couple of parents and we got together and all the kids are saying the same thing,” said the mother.
“She jacked us up and then she put us in a wall and yell at us,” said the student.
“If you had a child, how would feel if someone did this to your child?” her mother said. “If your child was on all fours knee scrubbing the floor? If your child didn't eat lunch? If your child was pinched or your child was hit?”
Following the release of the video, D.C. Public Schools issued a statement, which said in part: “We have initiated school-level discussions on appropriate measures for students cleaning up after messes, including the use of proper cleaning supplies. We take these allegations very seriously, and we will look into them.”