Parents angry about letter sent home with second-graders

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LINCOLN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Several parents in Lincoln County, West Virginia, are angry about letters their second-graders brought home from school.

The letters are handwritten by the kids and are "shaming" their bad behavior, multiple moms tell Gray affiliate WSAZ.

"I have not behaved at all this whole year so far," read Brianna Brunty from her 7-year-old daughter's letter. "I run my mouth all the time even though I know I shouldn't. I play all the time and don't pay attention. I'm very disrespectful to my teacher and everyone else too. I wiggle around and squirm all the time instead of paying attention. I will not be still in my seat or in the line. Anything my teacher gives me, I just destroy. Please sign so [teacher's name removed] will know you have read, and also if I'm supposed to take medicine, please be sure to give it to me."

Brunty says she was shocked when she read the letter her daughter brought home from West Hamlin Elementary Thursday.

"Honestly she's a good kid," Brunty said. "I definitely was angry when I read it."

She's not alone. Several other parents began posting pictures of their kids' letters to Facebook that evening. The posts have received hundreds of shares and comments.

"It started coming out that actually every single kid in the class wrote this letter," Brunty said. "It just infuriated me even more to make it look like to each parent like it was just their child that was causing problems."

Terrie Dean was upset when her son brought home the note. The behavior described in the letter doesn't match her child's character, she says.

"He usually is a good kid," Dean said. "He respects you, and I just don't see him doing something like that."

She doesn't understand why the teacher would punish the class as a whole and says adults should expect some of that behavior from kids that age.

"If you have this job, you're going to have to have patience," Dean said. "Kids are going to be squirmy and they're not going to sit still."

Dean's sister has a child in the same class.

All three moms said they were given no explanation other than what was in the letter.

"I don't think she should be teaching," said Trish Porter, whose son brought home the same letter. "If you don't have patience with little ones like that, I'm sorry, you should not be a teacher."

The part of the letter that angers these moms the most is the line about medication. They found it to be inappropriate and say the teacher should keep that conversation between adults.

"I was ticked," Porter said. "I don't think any teacher should react that way. I mean, they should talk to the parents about the situation."

"I, actually, because of comments she made before I've actually had her tested for ADHD and everything came back negative," Brunty said. "So I just think that's not in her profession. She doesn't need to be making suggestions like that."

WSAZ spoke with school officials including the principal and assistant superintendent. They both said they have been made aware of the situation, but could not comment on personnel matters, including if any action will be taken.

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