When a parent finds out their kid was punished at school, they can usually expect it to have to do with fighting, disrespecting the teacher, or being late to class. But most parents would be shocked if they discovered their son had gotten himself in trouble because was being polite, yet that’s exactly what happened when a 10-year-old North Carolina boy was punished by his teacher for calling her “ma’am” when she’d told him not to.
The teacher in question had Tamarion Wilson write the word ma’am four different times across each line of a piece of notebook paper before sending him home to have his parents sign a notice about the incident.
“It wasn’t right. It wasn’t professional. As a teacher, it wasn’t appropriate,” Tamarion’s mother, Teretha Wilson told local news outlet WTVD.
Coming up at 4:30 and 6 on @ABC11_WTVD: Parents of a Tarboro 5th grader are upset after their son got in trouble for calling a teacher "ma'am" against her wishes. In response, they say the teacher made him write the word repeatedly on a sheet of paper pic.twitter.com/KJghF8rPQb
— Michael Perchick (@MichaelPerchick) August 23, 2018
When Tamarion got home from North East Carolina Preparatory School, his mother noticed that something was wrong, and when she asked, he explained the punishment and told her she had to sign the paper. Both Teretha and her husband McArthur were appalled by the punishment and told local news outlet WTVD that they taught Tamarion to use the terms “ma’am” and “sir” around adults as a sign of respect.
As it turns out, Tamarion was put in the hospital last month due seizure-related incident that resulted in some trouble remembering things. While that sounds like something that a teacher would know before punishing a child for forgetting instructions, Tamarion’s apparently had no clue. Teretha has since met with the teacher and the principal of North East Carolina Preparatory School’s K-7 grade. The school’s principal suggested that Tamarion be moved to a different class in the school. His parents agreed and he was placed in a different class.
Currently, it’s unclear what the punishment for the teacher will be— if there’s any at all. But, an attorney representing the school assured people that the whole issue had “been handled appropriately by the K-7 principal.”