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Parents outraged after their 10-year-old son is punished for calling teacher 'ma'am'

Aby Rivas
Aug 28, 2018
10:04 A.M.
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A 5th grader by the name of Tamarion Wilson was punished by his teacher for using the polite term “ma’am” to call her, even after she asked him not to. While the teacher’s reasons are not clear, Tamarion’s parents are outraged by her actions.

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Teretha Wilson revealed to ABC-13 that she noticed something was off with her son the minute he got off the bus after returning from his school day at the North East Carolina Preparatory School. Tamarion, who was upset, revealed to his mother that he had been punished for calling his teacher “ma’am.”

Confused by his statement, Teretha then pulled out a paper sheet where Tamarion had to write “ma’am” four times per line on both sides as a penalty. The 10-year-old explained that his teacher had asked him to stop calling her “ma’am,” so she punished him when he did it again and asked for a parent to sign the paper.

“He had a look on his face of disappointment, shame," said McArthur Bryant, the father of the kid. And continued:

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“At the end of the day as a father, to feel kind of responsible for that…knowing that I have been raising him and doing the best that I can, it’s not acceptable.”

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The concerned and frustrated parents also revealed that Tamarion had been recently hospitalized because of hallucinations and memory loss, the product of seizure-related activity. The teacher, they claimed, wasn’t aware of the kid’s condition, but that doesn’t excuse her behavior.

The young boy also revealed that the teacher told him that “if she had something, she would have thrown it at him.” In a later meeting with the principal of the school and the teacher, the woman admitted she said that but stated it was a joke.

“It wasn’t right,” Wilson said. “It wasn’t professional. As a teacher, it wasn’t appropriate. And I asked her why she thought it was okay to do that.”

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When Tamarion returned the singed punishment sheet, he also attached a paper with the definition of “ma’am” in it.

Following the meeting with the principal and the teacher, Teretha asked her child to be moved to another classroom. “If it happened to my son, I'm pretty sure if not a week, a day, a month, a year, it will occur to somebody else's child," she said.

A representative of the North East Carolina Preparatory School released a short statement regarding the handling of the incident:

“This is a personnel matter which has been handled appropriately by the K-7 principal.”

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