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Old 05-28-2008, 11:36 AM
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Default Concealed tape recorder seems to confirm kindergarten teacher was 'mean'

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WAVE) - A kindergarten teacher from New Albany has been suspended after she was apparently caught on tape berating a 5-year-old student for several minutes in front of the class. The boy's parents sent him to school one day in April with the tape recorder in his pocket after the boy complained for months that his teacher was mean to him.

When they got the tape back, Gabriel Ross's parents were shocked when they heard S. Ellen Jones Elementary teacher Kristen Woodward apparently calling Gabriel Ross "pathetic." Now Woodward is suspended with pay and the boy's family is looking to find him another school.

According to school records, 5-year-old Gabriel doesn't appear to be a model kindergarten student. His daily behavior folder he and his parents showed us is filled with phrases like: "refused to listen," "talked nonstop interrupting the teachers," "terrible day" and "talked nonstop today."

But Gabriel's mother and stepdad say the teacher's response wasn't discipline, it was downright cruelty.

Gabriel's parents say the voice on the tape is Kristen Woodward bad-mouthing Gabriel for several minutes. Among other things, she says: "You've punished everyone in this building with your behavior. Everyone has been affected by your nasty behavior. Everyone. Cafeteria workers, the monitors, the art teacher, music teacher ... ten people in this building you have tormented and tortured for 149 days. I'm done."

At another point she says: "You've been ignorant, selfish, self-absorbed, the whole thing. I'm done..."

Gabriel's mother can't believe a teacher said these things to her son.

"When you treat a child like they're bad, they're going to be bad," said Tabitha McMahan, tearing up.

McMahan, who also attended this S. Ellen Jones Elementary School when she was growing up, took Gabriel out of the school the day after she heard the recording on April 15th. And he hasn't been back.

"That a 5-year-old kid would have to go through something like he did. That's not right," said McMahan. "Even if it was a 16-year old kid, I would still be this upset."

The New Albany-Floyd County school system won't comment on personnel matters. They did confirm they're investigating allegations of serious employee misconduct and that Kristen Woodward's on paid administrative leave.

"I pat myself on the back lightly," said Gabriel's stepdad, J.R. Edwards.

Edwards says that recorder he got his son to carry in his pants pocket one day was a smart investment. Now he hopes to get someone smart to help his son's psyche.

"We seriously need to find somebody to talk with Gabriel to see if he's alright, because this experience for 149 days - as far as I'm concerned that's how long it went on."

The Indiana State Teachers Association is standing up for Woodward, who has taught for 13 years. They say the school system went too far with the suspension and didn't give Woodward a fair chance to give her side of the story.


WAVE 3 TV Louisville, KY | Concealed tape recorder seems to confirm kindergarten teacher was 'mean'

I wonder if they realize just how obvious it is that all they're thinking of is a hefty lawsuit settlement? I think the teacher was out of line and her words were way too harsh for a 5 year old, but these people don't seem to be taking into account their kid is the biggest brat on the block! Then when kids are rotten apples as teenagers, they wonder why,
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:43 AM
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Default Re: Concealed tape recorder seems to confirm kindergarten teacher was 'mean'


I saw them on GMA this morning. The stepfather said that the teacher had sent them a letter saying that they needed to address some behavior problems. But when he approached her about setting up a time to discuss it she dismissively said she "didn't have time" for that right now.

It sounds like she really dropped the ball with this kid. Not saying the parents were not at fault too. They may very well be.
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Concealed tape recorder seems to confirm kindergarten teacher was 'mean'

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I saw them on GMA this morning. The stepfather said that the teacher had sent them a letter saying that they needed to address some behavior problems. But when he approached her about setting up a time to discuss it she dismissively said she "didn't have time" for that right now.

It sounds like she really dropped the ball with this kid. Not saying the parents were not at fault too. They may very well be.
I agree. There is a reason you get certified to be a teacher, even more if dealing with small children, and this woman obviously was not prepared and should not be teaching any children. It just boggles my mind that the step-father "pats himself on the back".
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Old 05-28-2008, 12:08 PM
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Default Re: Concealed tape recorder seems to confirm kindergarten teacher was 'mean'

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I agree. There is a reason you get certified to be a teacher, even more if dealing with small children, and this woman obviously was not prepared and should not be teaching any children. It just boggles my mind that the step-father "pats himself on the back".

I suppose that if I truly thought that a teacher was as bad as this one appears to be that I might be patting myself on the back too if I managed to get her investigated.

The child claims that this was not a single incident. According to his mother, he says the teacher talked to him like this every day.

I don't know how they will ever prove if that is true or not. But if it is then maybe a lot of people should be patting him on the back for getting her out of the classroom.

Another thing that was played on the air this morning was the teacher telling another child not to comfort this boy when he was crying. And telling the other children in the class not to be his friend.

Who says that kind of crap to a class of 5-year-olds?
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Old 05-28-2008, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: Concealed tape recorder seems to confirm kindergarten teacher was 'mean'

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I wonder if they realize just how obvious it is that all they're thinking of is a hefty lawsuit settlement? I think the teacher was out of line and her words were way too harsh for a 5 year old, but these people don't seem to be taking into account their kid is the biggest brat on the block! Then when kids are rotten apples as teenagers, they wonder why,
That's where I'm leading, too...

I'd need some more details, but I see people wrong on all sides...

If there was some way a teacher could sue the parents becaue of their child's inability to follow rules and continue being disruptive, there'd be a BIG switch in all of this, but then again, nobody put a gun to the girl's head to become a teacher...
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Old 05-28-2008, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: Concealed tape recorder seems to confirm kindergarten teacher was 'mean'

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I suppose that if I truly thought that a teacher was as bad as this one appears to be that I might be patting myself on the back too if I managed to get her investigated.

The child claims that this was not a single incident. According to his mother, he says the teacher talked to him like this every day.

I don't know how they will ever prove if that is true or not. But if it is then maybe a lot of people should be patting him on the back for getting her out of the classroom.

Another thing that was played on the air this morning was the teacher telling another child not to comfort this boy when he was crying. And telling the other children in the class not to be his friend.

Who says that kind of crap to a class of 5-year-olds?
Definitely that teacher does not belong in a classroom, she might work well in the cafeteria, the old hag that serves the sloppy joes,

I guess I am old school. I would be beyond embarassed and appalled that my child, due to my lack of proper parenting, were acting up in the class so much that he would get daily reports that he had a "terrible day". It is certainly not the child's fault that the parents did not feel the need to give him the proper tools to be respectful and behave in class. Bad parents, bad teacher. It's a huge mess. "Here you go, my kid is rotten, now deal with it!" I would at the very least go the route of "I know my child has some issues, but this certainly is no way to treat a 5 year old". They take no responsibility whatsoever,
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:12 PM
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Default Re: Concealed tape recorder seems to confirm kindergarten teacher was 'mean'

If the teacher had marched him down to the principals office after the third offense and paddled his little butt, the teacher wouldn't have had to resort to talking talking talking. Kids are not stupid. They know if you are just talking then that's about all you can do.
A good hard paddle would have also saved the cafeteria people and all the others mentioned the 149 days of torture.
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Old 05-29-2008, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: Concealed tape recorder seems to confirm kindergarten teacher was 'mean'

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A good hard paddle would have also saved the cafeteria people and all the others mentioned the 149 days of torture.
It worked during my day and age...

In fact, if I brought a tape recorder home with a teacher chastizing me, my parents would've brought out the belt and set ME straight...
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:47 AM
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Default Re: Concealed tape recorder seems to confirm kindergarten teacher was 'mean'

i am not condoning what was done to the child. but i know the teacher, and to me this all sounds like one great big set up. i'm sure that many of you know that the tape recording is inadmissible in court, as it was done with out the teachers knowledge. i'm not saying that it was right of her to say it, but if the child has bahavior issues, that need to be addressed, then address the issues. my youngest son should have been in mrs woodwards class this year, and in fact, he was looking forward to having her as a teacher, as was i. my middle child had mrs. woodward as his kindergarten teacher, and there were no problems. i guess, my point is, if the parents are willing to participate in the child's education then there will be no problems.
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:55 AM
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i guess, my point is, if the parents are willing to participate in the child's education then there will be no problems.
That's the crux of the biscuit (as Zappa would say)...

That goes for a great majority of child/teacher/school issues...
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