A parent “barged into” a classroom and threatened physical violence against a Pyle Elementary School teacher earlier this week, according to a media release from the Fresno Teachers Association Thursday afternoon.
The confrontation occurred Tuesday morning just after 8 a.m. in a third-grade classroom. The teacher was taking attendance at the time.
The parent entered the school as students were arriving for the day, meaning campus gates were open to allow a “free flow” of students heading to class, according to Diana Diaz, a district spokesperson.
The parent and a teenage girl accompanying her blocked the doorway and prevented the teacher and her class from leaving the room while yelling and cursing at the teacher, the FTA said in the statement. Another teacher who overheard the disturbance called the police, who escorted the parent from the campus a short time later.
During the incident, Diaz wrote that school site administration helped escort students from the classroom and worked with Pyle’s safety and emergency response personnel to relocate nearby classes.
But this is not the first time this parent has threatened a teacher, the teacher’s union said.
“According to teachers, this parent’s behavior and the behavior of her student have been an on-going concern for nearly three school years, yet district administration has done nothing to address it,” FTA officials said in the release.
In response, the Fresno Teachers Association put out a list of demands, including:
Trauma support services for student and staff affected by the incident
A full investigation into the parent’s ability to enter the classroom during the school day and her past behavior
Transferring the parent’s student into independent study for the rest of the school year
A campus safety plan
A district-funded campus assistant
“Unfortunately, this incident and others like it, are the ugly culmination of Fresno Unified’s unwritten policy of not holding students and adults responsible for their inappropriate behavior,” said Manuel Bonilla, president of FTA. “No one deserves to interrupt the learning of our students.”
Since Tuesday, the principal at the school has supported the teacher with the process of filing a restraining order, according to Diaz.
“The school site administration reviewed safety protocols with all staff and adjusted the arrival supervision duties to the Principal and Vice Principals for the remainder of the school year,” Diaz wrote.
She said that the district cannot comment on any student-specific details but are working on a safety plan that does not punish any student for a parent’s behavior.
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