SOUTH POINT, Ohio (WSAZ) – An audio recording that went viral on social media last week of a teacher and a student sparring at South Point Middle School was the focus of a packed special meeting Wednesday night.
An audio recording that went viral on social media last week of a teacher and a student sparring at South Point Middle School in Ohio was the topic of a packed special meeting Wednesday night.
The student’s mother made it clear she thought the teacher went too far. The president of the school board called a special meeting to hear people’s concerns about the recording.
While the contents of the recording are open for interpretation, the school board president said the meeting, which started at 6 p.m. and lasted more than three hours, was designed to get more information.
There are two separate recordings: one involves the principal and the other involves a teacher.
Prior to the meeting, the school board president said there was an appropriate procedure in place and the school board is conducting an investigation.
The board went into a private meeting for two hours. When they returned, they said they needed their fifth board member to make a decision on the investigation.
The school board president said Wednesday night that he cannot comment at this time. He also said he could not comment if certain staff members would be put on administrative leave.
Amy Crawford, the mother of one of the children in the recording, spoke with WSAZ’s Tori Yorgey about the incident involving her son.
“If you hear the videos, my child is in the second video where the principal is screaming and yelling for him to put his hand down. Then it goes on from there and that’s when she should’ve stopped. It should’ve stopped there and it didn’t,” Crawford said.
Crawford says she believes the only way out of this situation is with termination of the principal and teacher.
“I just don’t see how we can come back from this, if they get to come back and teach and be principal,” Crawford said. “If you lost your composure over something someone said about you, like Petina said, the mother of the other child, what are you going to do next? What if something really makes you mad? We can’t risk our children’s safety.”
Petina Vazquez says her daughter is the one who recorded both videos and she says the kids need justice.
“I have told my daughter so many times that she’s being dramatic,” Vazquez said. “I’ve always taken the teacher’s side and now when I heard this recording I know the kids (who) can be disrespectful, my child has been punished for her part in this, just as well as the teacher should be punished for their part.”
“What I hope is for them to get fired, I don’t think they need to be in the school teaching our kids.”
Crawford went on to say, “If Tunisia had not recorded that, knowing there were consequences to her doing that, we would not be here. We would not know that this has been happening. So again, I will say it. To me, she’s a hero.”
The local school board superintendent gets no vote in the decision due to a family member being involved.
County superintendent Jeff Saunders is conducting the investigation. Another meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. Monday.