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Parents Upset Over Declo Elementary School Bullying Incident

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By Andrew Reed

Declo, Idaho (KMVT-TV) Some parents are outraged over what they say a Declo Elementary School teacher made her students do when they didn't meet their reading goals.

A fourth grade teacher had students look at their reading goals on November 5th, 2012. She then asked students what incentives they should receive if they met their goal.

It was their answer that led students to take an unusual action on other classmates.

Fourth graders in Summer Larsen' class at Declo Elementary School needed to meet a reading goal of 10-points.

If those students didn't meet those points, parents tell us their kids were punished by fellow classmates.

"Not only was my son punished with bullying, but the other students were rewarded with bullying. They're being taught that bullying is okay and there is nothing wrong with this” said a concerned parent.

There are 21-students in Mrs. Larsen's fourth grade class; nine of those students didn't meet their accelerated reading goals. The students had two options either miss recess or get their faces drawn on by other students. Six students volunteered to get their faces drawn on and three skipped recess.

"The class had a discussed their accelerated reading goals and trying to put together some incentives for students to achieve those goals. One of those incentives was who met their goals would be able to paint the face of those kids who didn't meet their goals or those children who didn't meet their goals could also miss recess” said Superintendent Gaylen Smyer, Cassia County School District.

While many parents are disturbed, others believe the teacher did nothing wrong.

"I'm just one of many parents who stand totally behind Summer Larsen and her teaching methods and what she does. We think she is a wonderful teacher and we want to see her stay at Declo for many years” said Carla Christensen, Declo Elementary Parent.

The superintendent explains that they take parent concerns seriously.

The incident is currently being investigated.



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