Young children are taught to be honest, kind, and to do the right thing. Parents hope that their little ones will retain those lessons and put them to good use, just as five-year-old Hailey Turner did one day while she was in her kindergarten class at Cummings Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee.
According to FOX13 News, when Ciara Morgan, Hailey’s mother, picked her daughter up from school, she immediately noticed a large bruise around the little girl’s eye. Ciara said she cried seeing that her daughter was injured, but she wasn’t prepared for the answer Hailey gave when Morgan asked what caused the bruise.
The incident occurred after Hailey went to her teacher to tell her that another child wasn’t following directions. “She said the teacher reached into her desk, pulled out a ruler, walked over to her and told her ‘no tattle tailing’ and popped her,” Ciara said.
Latasia Turner, Hailey’s aunt, told the news station that her niece said, “Ms. Lewis hit me in the eye with a ruler and told me not to tell anybody.”
FOX13 News contacted the Shelby County School District for a statement, and they were told “any allegation involving the safety of a child extremely serious,” and “We can confirm this employee was removed from the school and received disciplinary consequences in accordance with board policy.”
One would assume that the incident is being investigated and during this time the teacher has been removed from the classroom for the safety of young students. That assumption would be incorrect.
Two weeks later, the teacher was reinstated to their position and Hailey’s family wasn’t given any notification. They also found out that the Tennessee Department of Education hasn’t even reviewed the Shelby County Schools report about the abuse.
“Hailey said Ms. Lewis is back in school and they removed me from my class,” Latasia said.
Attempts to have a meeting with the school’s principal have been denied, as he refuses to speak with the family of Hailey Turner. Ciara has also received a letter stating that she is banned from school property.
We need to do better by our children. Any person, let alone a teacher, who abuses children, especially in the classroom, should not be allowed to return to their position. Our black girls matter, their lives are important, and they shouldn’t be disregarded when abused.
Please share this story about Hailey Turner to continue a discussion of protect our little Black girls in schools and environments of education. They are our sisters and their lives matter.