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Mom calling on teachers’ termination after preschooler was spanked

Posted: 5:17 PM, Oct 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-19 19:51:40-04

An Abbeville mom is calling on the Vermilion Parish School Board to fire two teachers after she says her preschooler was spanked in class.

Although spanking is allowed in the parish, certain rules are supposed to be followed.

Journee Cormier says her four-year-old is scared to go back to school. Cormier pulled her from Eaton Park Elementary School after she says her daughter was spanked.

“I said, ‘What do you mean you caught a spanking?’ She said the teacher went in the closet and got a belt, took her to the bathroom, pulled her by the back of her shirt and spanked her right on the butt with it,” said Cormier. “The teacher hurt her.”

Cormier says the alleged spanking happened at the end of September. She reached out to the principal and did not feel as though the school was doing enough to investigate. Cormier then called on the interim superintendent.

“He said if that was true, she’s out of line,” Cormier said.

Vermilion Parish schools do allow corporal punishment for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, not pre-k. The policy says corporal punishment should be used after other methods of discipline have failed and must be limited to paddling. Also, an adult must be present.

Cormier says the school system is investigating but claims a representative talked to her daughter without her present. So, she then called Abbeville police.

In a report obtained by KATC, police have received a statement from Cormier and interviewed school employees. The case is now being forwarded to the city court for review.

“I’m not saying there are not good teachers, but my child did come home and not only told me she caught a spanking, but she gave me very specific details,” said Cormier.

Interim Vermilion Parish Schools Superintendent Paul Hebert declined an on-camera interview, citing the police investigation. He did say the school system is cooperating with police.