Target: Turner Elementary School Principal Gail Solomon
Goal: Ensure that kindergarten teacher is fired for abusing her student
Tracy Drayton, a physical education teacher at the Turner Elementary School, was caught dragging a kindergartener around the gym while slapping her with her open hand. The whole scene was caught on surveillance camera in Albany, Georgia and the teacher was punished with only a 30-day unpaid suspension. Please make sure that Tracy Drayton is fired for inflicting violence on her student.
In a video that has been circulating around the Internet, the teacher is clearly seen abusing the kindergartener as the rest of the students silently look on. Drayton’s attorney defends the teacher’s actions by stating that the student always misbehaved and threw temper tantrums. The attorney goes on to say that Drayton’s action was an isolated incident and tries to frame the situation as a simple “momentary lapse in judgment,” a shocking statement that seeks to reduce the gravity of the incident at hand.
Though the school board has unanimously decided to suspend Drayton for 30 days without pay, they agree with her attorney and have decided not to fire her—in spite of the superintendent’s suggestion for termination. Their decision has come under scrutiny but they justify their position by stating that Drayton has had a clean record for 22 years. Whatever the justification may be on their end, a kindergartener was still hit by an adult.
While the school board is resisting any further actions against Drayton, she will be charged with assault and battery in a case against the court. However, after those 30 days of suspension and an anger management course, she will be back at Turner Elementary School. Tracy Drayton’s clean record for 22 years does not dismiss her from abusing a kindergartener, or any student, in such a reckless manner. Misbehaving or not, no student should become a victim of any teacher’s “momentary lapse in judgment.” Ensure that Drayton is fired from the school so that students, especially kindergarteners who are vulnerable and highly moldable at that age, will never suffer at the hands of a supervising adult again.
Dear Gail Solomon,
Recently at Turner Elementary School, a physical education teacher by the name of Tracy Drayton was seen abusing a kindergartener on surveillance camera. Though the superintendent suggested termination of the teacher, the school board unanimously agreed to suspend Drayton for only 30 days without pay—allowing her to keep her job.
The school board’s justification for Drayton’s slight punishment is her clean record for 22 years. It is noteworthy to point out that this incident was “isolated.” However, her clean record should not be allowed to be an eraser for the “momentary lapse of judgment” she had in striking a young child. Parents and guardians leave their children at schools hoping to have them educated in a safe and loving environment. A child in kindergarten is at a highly impressionable age so having someone who is supposed to be trustworthy, such as a teacher, abuse her can be exceedingly traumatizing.
Drayton and her attorney defended her action by stating that the kindergartener has had a long history of mood swings. But this is irrelevant. Under no circumstance should a child be hit. If the teacher found the child to be too much to handle, she should have used other means to deal with the situation. Physical or verbal abuse should never even be considered an option. Please do more than give Drayton a slap on the wrist for her grossly inappropriate actions on school premises and have her terminated for abusing a child.
[Your Name Here]
Photocredit: Dougherty County School System