J.P. Law teacher resigns

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 4, 2006

MERRY HILL – Allegations against a first-grade teacher at J.P. Law Elementary School have apparently led to her resignation.

On Thursday afternoon, Bertie County Public Schools spokesperson Brent Todd said the teacher had submitted her resignation on the heels of an allegation that she tied a six-year-old male student to his chair.

Meanwhile, the parent of another child in the same classroom said the teacher is being treated unfairly by the media.

The incident was under investigation by Bertie County Public Schools. The teacher was suspended, with pay, until that investigation was completed.

That all came to an end on Thursday with the teacher’s resignation.

“She is no longer employed with Bertie County Public Schools, thus ending our investigation into this matter,” Todd said.

The child’s mother, Kendra Williams of Merry Hill, said the teacher, whose name was not released by Bertie Schools, apparently tied her son, Shamar, to a chair as a means of keeping him from getting out of his seat. She added that her son was tied tightly around the waist.

Todd revealed that knitting yarn was used to tie the child to his seat.

While she said she could not condone that act of discipline, Danielle Ledford, the mother of a first-grader at J.P. Law, stated that the teacher in question is not a bad person.

“The way the news media (television and newspapers) have told the story of what happened in class makes the teacher look like a monster,” Ledford wrote in an e-mail forwarded Thursday to the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald.

“The teacher in this case is a loving, caring and giving educator,” she continued. “My daughter loves this teacher very much and does not want to attend school without this teacher. I told my daughter that her teacher would not be back and she cried and didn’t understand. She asked if she could go to another school or were her teacher was.”

Ledford said her child was very shy and timid.

“If her teacher was as bad as the press is making this teacher out to be, my child would not love being in this class,” Ledford wrote. “I am not condoning what has happened, but it hurts to see a good teacher and person hurt.”

Ledford said her daughter wrote the teacher a letter and wanted her to mail it.

“The letter reads as follows: ‘I want my teacher back. I love you (teacher’s name). I am really sad’,” Ledford said in the e-mail.

She closed by saying, “I just want people to know that the teacher in question is a very good person and a very good teacher and is not the monster that the news media has made this teacher out to be.”