Two Upstate parents are looking for answers after they said a teacher threw away their first-grader’s shoes at Bryson Elementary in Simpsonville last week.
Six-year-old Taraji Edward’s mother said she knew there was a problem when she was getting her daughter ready for school the next day.
“She began to cry, ‘no mommy I don’t want to wear those sandals’,” Chartrese Edwards.
Edwards said she asked her daughter why, and that’s when her daughter told her the teacher had thrown them away the day before.
“I was messing with my shoes, and the teacher told me eight times or seven, and I never listened,” Taraji said.
She said the strap was bothering her in math class last week. Even at six-years-old, Taraji admits her part but said the issue is what happened after.
Taraji said the teacher made her walk around barefoot for a while before she was told she could go get her shoes from the trash and put them back on her feet.
“I feel like it was malicious behavior,” Edwards said. “I’m angry about it because you could have used a better method.”
Taraji said she felt singled out. “I feel embarrassed, and I did not like how she treated me…That’s not a way I can make friends,” she said.
Edwards said she did speak with the principal and teacher at the school.
“She easily confessed,” Edwards said. ‘Yes I did.’ I told her to leave the shoes alone, and she did not listen to me.’”
Greenville County Schools District released the statement below regarding the incident:
“Greenville County Schools is taking this family’s concerns very seriously. The district does not tolerate embarrassment or humiliation as a form of punishment. This matter is being thoroughly investigated by Bryson Elementary and by district administrators. The investigation is not yet complete. As this is a personnel matter, Greenville County Schools cannot release the teacher’s name or the disciplinary action taken, if the investigation determines that discipline is warranted.”
The parents have had meetings with the district and reached out to the school board. They said they want to see action taken against the teacher but don’t know if they’ll send their daughter back to the school.
“I haven’t made a decision for what we’re going to do further because I need to gain some trust,” Edwards said.
However, she’s not the only one with trust issues.
“I do not want to get treated like that,” Taraji said. “I’m only six.”
The mother said the school district approved a home bound teacher for her daughter on Tuesday afternoon.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to send their daughter to a private school.