A mom in Texas says her son and some classmates were forced to do “bear crawls” on a hot track after they tried to get out of running by hiding in the shade during a physical education class, according to local reports.
The punishment burned the hands of the Anthony Aguirre Junior High students, according to KRIV.
Mother Wendy Alvarez says her own 12-year-old child has second-degree burns, KPRC reported.
“When I saw him, he had a big blister here, blisters forming on the palm,” she said, according to the Houston-based TV station.
A spokesperson with the Channelview School District confirmed in a statement to McClatchy News that four students had received “non-life threatening heat related injuries due to the conditions outside.”
The teacher accused of disciplining the students has been placed on administrative leave as the district investigates the allegations, according to the statement.
Bear crawls — “a bodyweight mobility exercise” — involve putting your weight on your hands as toes as you move while crawling low to the ground.
After Alvarez’s seventh grader completed the exercise during his P.E. class on Monday, May 9, she told KPRC that he described his hands as being on fire.
Temperatures in the Houston area ranged from the low to mid 90s with heat indexes in the 100s.
“To me, that’s torture,” Alvarez told KRIV of the gym class discipline.
“I feel like the punishment was too harsh,” she told KPRC. “I’m all up for discipline, disciplining the kids, but not like that.”
“Channelview ISD does not condone aversive discipline techniques that may cause physical pain to a student in any way. We take these situations very seriously as the safety of our students is always our top priority,” according to the statement.
The school district is located in unincorporated Harris County, east of Houston.