SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) – A parent turned to the FOX 8 I-Team with extraordinary video she recorded in her child’s school after she had heard he was being punished by being put into a closet.
So, we investigated.
Christin Imani Mays showed us the video she recorded with her cell phone this week in a second grade classroom at Mercer Elementary School in Shaker Heights.
She says she had been told her 7-year-old had been put into a closet multiple times.
The video shows what happened after she barged into the classroom.
She said to her son’s classmates, “So, he put my child in a closet, right?”
You can hear, “Yes, yes.”
After asking the kids a couple of times if they had seen it, the mother turns to the teacher.
The video shows that she said, “Sir, you put my son in a closet? Don’t lie to me. These kids are not going to lie on you.”
The teacher answers with, “Ma’am, I put him in the coat room.”
That leads the mom to say, “You had no reason to put my child in a closet.”
The teacher then says, “He was making noise and he wouldn’t stop.”
Thursday, that mother explained to the I-Team why she did what she did.
She told us, “Because I knew at that time it would be my word against his, and if I didn’t have it on video, no one would have believed what I said.”
She also spoke of her son, saying, “It doesn’t justify him not listening to the teacher, but it doesn’t justify you putting my child in a closet. It’s like, why are you doing it? Why wouldn’t you just call me as his parent to get to the bottom of this?”
After what we saw on video, the I-Team started asking questions about the teacher.
The Shaker Heights School District released a statement that said, “On Wednesday morning, we became aware of an incident in which a parent and teacher at Mercer Elementary School engaged in a verbal exchange that became heated. School administrators immediately spoke to the parent and the teacher in an attempt to resolve the issue.
“All students should be treated fairly and equitably, and the district takes all complaints about unfair treatment seriously. This particular incident remains under investigation. The teacher was not in the classroom Thursday.”
Meanwhile, the child’s mother showed us, the teacher also had her son sitting away from everyone else.
Now, she wants that teacher moved away.
She said, “I would like to see him removed from the school.”
We did not identify the teacher since no discipline has been issued, but we did review his personnel file.
It shows that he’s been with Shaker Heights. Schools for decades. The file does not indicate any discipline.
It also shows the teacher recently gave notice saying he will retire this summer.
We also reached out to the teacher’s union, and the union had no comment.