Neighbors react to punishment for student accused of slapping teacher

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A 12-year-old at Geeter Middle School student was suspended and ordered to appear in court after he reportedly slapped a teacher.

Memphis police said a 43-year-old teacher reported the violence, and the student was sent home to his family.

"That's messed up. That's messed up," said Westwood resident Bryan Hastings.

Some question if the punishment was too lenient.

Shelby County Juvenile Court said these situations are generally handled with a juvenile summons, like what happened here.

Chief Probation Officer Barry Mitchell said juvenile court prioritizes rehabilitation, not detention.

"The 'scared straight' really doesn't work. How they're brought down here really doesn't make much of a difference," Mitchell said.

Other Westwood residents said they believe the punishment the student is facing is too strict.

One neighbor suggested transferring the student to a different school rather than punishing him legally.

Juvenile court has been under fire in recent years, as many questioned why so many children of color became part of the system.

Mitchell said the facility has made several improvements. He said several years ago, they had between 80 and 100 children in detention each day.

Currently, that number is closer to 40.

Shelby County Schools could not go into details about the incident. It said it expects students to follow the code of conduct.


  • Shawn

    Now if the teacher had knocked the child down you would be crying foul!!!!! That is what is wrong in schools today. You expect teachers to raise your bad kids and when they act grown you want teachers to still treat them as children!!!!

  • Martha Woods


  • Thomas H. Evans

    I completely agree with Shawn and Martha! This is exactly whats wrong with our kids today, they feel they can get away with anything just because they are a juvenile. We all know what would have happened to the teacher if he had slapped the kid back; “he’s an adult and should know better.” However, the child is a child and should know better. Please don’t transfer him to another school; by now we should know that by transferring one bad apple from one place to another doesn’t change that apple. 180 days sounds good to me, then maybe the parents will pay attention to their child (Maybe).

  • Holly Cooper

    So typical as to what’s wrong. How can a responsible, mature adult say this punishment us too hard?? Geez…the kid is lucky he didn’t get backhanded across the room. He definitely should appear in court, and if he gets let off, the teacher should throw an assault charge on him!

  • knucklesammich

    Had I been this teacher I would probably be fired and in trouble by now because I would have drawn back to 1970 and clocked him. He woulda been gathering his young butt off the floor and he would know you don’t do that to grown folks.

    • Rustcollegegrad03

      YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! I literally hollered at back to 1970!!!! When that child woke up, they would have been on a disco floor doing the boogie! KMSL!!!! #DEAD #IAGREE

    • Brian

      Got that right!

      … and what’s this nonsense about? “Other Westwood residents said they believe the punishment the student is facing is too strict.”

      I hope those idiots haven’t bred and don’t breed. Yikes.

  • Gail Barden

    Absolutely ridiculous!! Student should not be allowed back in class at all! And the reason there are so many CHILDREN OF COLOR in the system is because they choose to do wrong. THEY have to obey the rules as well as everyone else.

  • Harold Minton

    Sad part is he probably treats adults at home like this. Somewhere the student has learned that this is a proper response to authority he doesn’t agree with. The others are correct: this is a major reason schools have most of the problems they have. Discipline is nearly absent, especially at home.

  • Tired of Excuses Black Man

    GAIL BARDEN, you are absolutely right and I am a black man! I live in Texas but was raised in Memphis. Because they have changed these policies over the years about corporate punishment plus many of these parents are terrible parents at raising their kids! They expect the teachers to be held accountable but they turn a blind eye to their own kids behavior.

  • 1midtownmike

    No more politically correct excuses……this is a prime example of why the state will be taking over Memphis government and Shelby County Schools within’ 3 years.
    It’s a comin ya’ll.

  • Don

    This child had no business to slap the teacher. The parents should be charged and all of this would be over. The parents are responsible for their children at home or any other place

  • Debbie

    what did the teacher do? was she in the childs face? i can just picture the teacher pointing her finger in the kids face and yell/spitting. maybe saying something inappropriate. do we have this info? maybe the kid lost control but maybe, just maybe, it was partly provoked. witnesses? video?

    • lawman

      Really? SMDH!!!! So, little Johnnie brings a gun to school and your answer is he must to have been provoked.

    • Brian

      You can be assured that this isn’t the first time your little angel has provoked his teacher. Make sure you heed the juvenile summons you were given and follow the judge’s orders. You might try getting your own house in order as his behavior outside of the home is a reflection of his home training.

    • TigerFan

      Put down the pipe, Debbie. The students behavior was unacceptable – I read nothing in the article about the teacher being suspended or investigated, and they surely would be if they had been ugly to the kid. I don’t think the teacher is at fault here – Perhaps people should stop playing the victim every single time….

      • Debbie

        ah haha. good one. i’ve raised 5 kids and none would ever think of doing this – they’d be too afraid of the repercussions and have respect for their elders. just saying – didn’t hear both sides of this.

  • whoyoukiddin

    What y’all deleted me because I stated the obvious about y’all? Put my post back up!!! Channel 3 has become a liberal to the left station instead of doing real reporting!!!!!!!

  • AMA35

    I know of a highschool kid back in the 90’s for hitting a teacher because the teacher called him stupid. The kid was suspended and the teacher quit. They replaced the teacher and there was never another incident from the kid. I remember the kid actually regretted it deeply after it happened. Some kids deal with a lot of abuse at home and sometimes they just snap.


    At some point in the future this ‘kid’ will probably be back in the news. All this will teach him is that he will get a slap on the wrist. Pitiful.

  • Skeptic

    Whatever happen to the school for troubled students? Remember Tall Trees?? If the student was say 6 or 7 years old then light punishment is ok. But, a student this age knows it wasn’t right and actions require punishment. There is no discipline in schools today that work.

  • t

    This may NOT be a strong enough punishment. The kid apparently isn’t getting discipline at HOME so he’s getting it in J.C. which is what they are there for! As for why is there so many little black thugs there…..stupid question really. There are MORE black kids in Memphis which act up & are sent to detention. If the mother would stop having babies, this wouldn’t be a problem. So simple

  • sickofthis

    a child will kick out school 160 day for drugs but only send home for slapping a teacher an adult who job it to help you come people rasie your kids or STOP having them to many bad off seeds in the world

  • Smitty1961

    When did “people of color” become the new lingo for black people? Who decides when a new term is required anyways? I understand not using the old derogatory terms, but why do we need a new designation every few years? I’m white. Does that make me a “person devoid of color”? BS terms are BS.

  • Long Gone

    Juvenile court has been under fire in recent years, as many questioned why so many children of color became part of the system.
    Its culture not color. Lets start separating the two.

  • ron

    If he did that in a Catholic school he would likely be suspended for at least a week if not expelled. That behavior is simply not tolerated at all. The 2nd time for even a minor offense from the kid… he is expelled for sure. That is just punishment for that offense. YOU NEVER TOUCH A TEACHER EVER. The parents need to get involved and in the kids face to keep him from getting expelled.

  • KT

    I think back when I was in school, if a student slapped a teacher, he would have got a whooping from the teacher, the principle and suspended, and then would have had to go home to get another one from his parents. But todays kids are only going by what to learn at home from the relatives, the tv and video games. There is no structure at home and they are not taught to respect adults. Could you have only imagine the reaction that you would have got from the other students back in the day if this had happen.

  • Wilson's Wings 'n Things

    Too many unnecessary comments by others. Keep it Plain and Simple! If the child refuses to behave after being instructed by their parent(s) and teacher(s), let the LAW and POLICE teach him/her. I’m sure they will quickly understand that everybody is NOT joking or playing. Hopefully, they will learn that certain actions are not acceptable.

Comments are closed.