Mom Says Teacher Had Class Slap Her Son

     HOUSTON (CN) – A Houston middle school teacher punished a wisecracking student by telling his classmates to slap him, and most of them did, breaking his glasses, his mother claims in court.
     Skyler Norman sued the Houston Independent School District, teacher Robert Straube and two administrators for her son Gavin Norman in Harris County Court on July 15.
     In her complaint, Norman says her son was in Straube’s eighth grade English class at Frank Black Middle School in northwest Houston on May 6, when he joked that a study guide could be used for class assignment.
     In response, the complaint says, “Straube instructed the students to get out of their seats and slap Gavin. More than half of the class then got out of their seats and proceeded to slap Gavin around the head.”
     Norman says her son’s prescription eyeglasses were broken during the episode, and that he rushed to the school office and immediately filled out an incident report.
     She also asserts that the experience so upset her son that “he was unable to attend school without fear for several days,” and students bullied him about it.     
     Norman says she asked the defendant administrators Paolo Catagnoli and Crystal Ardoin-Richmond several times for a copy of the incident report and they didn’t respond, or give her any notice of disciplinary action taken against Straube.
     She seeks unspecified compensatory, punitive and exemplary damages on behalf of her son on claims of assault, battery, bullying and infliction of emotional distress.
     Norman is represented by David McKeand, of Houston, and James Northcutt, of Katy, Texas.
     Houston ISD is the largest school district in Texas with 215,000 students, 75.5 percent of whom are “economically disadvantaged,” according to its website. The student body is 62.1 percent Hispanic, 24.9 percent black, 8.2 percent white and 3.6 percent Asian.
     A district spokesperson said it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

%d bloggers like this: