WASHINGTON (Circa) — A 10 year old from Tarboro, North Carolina, was punished in class for saying "yes ma'am" to his teacher, reports WTVD.
The parents of Tamarion Wilson say the fifth grader came home from school visibly disappointed. He pulled a sheet of paper out of his book bag, covered front and back with the handwritten word "ma'am."
Apparently the teacher asked the student not to call her "ma'am," and when he did so, she had him write the word repeatedly as punishment. He was instructed to take it home and have it signed by his parents. The teacher also said "if she had something, she would have thrown it at him," according to Wilson. The teacher later said she wasn't being serious.
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
Teretha Wilson and McArthur Bryant, Tamarion's parents, called the teacher's actions inappropriate. They explained their son was raised to refer to elders as "sir" and "ma'am," and he was not being disrespectful.
The parents met with the teacher and principal to discuss the incident and request their son be moved to a different classroom, to which the principal agreed. However, they want to make sure something similar doesn't happen to another child. "If it happened to my son," said Bryant, "I'm pretty sure if not a week, a day, a month, a year, it will occur to somebody else's child."
According to the school, the teacher in question has several years of experience. A school official released the following statement: "This is a personnel matter which has been handled appropriately by the K-7 principal."