A Florida school suspended a fifth-grade student after she recorded her teacher bullying a classmate (video below).
Brianna Cooper, 11, recorded her teacher berating a student on her cell phone before playing it for her mother to hear, Little Things reports.
“You don’t speak to children, let alone your students, like that,” said Cassie Faulkner, Brianna’s outraged mother.
The child says the teacher had been mean to students before but she never had evidence to prove it -- until now, WPTV reports.
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“Don’t let the size fool you. I will drop you,” threatened the Samuel S. Gaines Academy science teacher to the classmate in the recording.
“Biggest kid in fifth grade and you’re acting like the smallest one. I wonder what your mom looks like,” she added.
After turning over the recording to the principal, the teacher was fired for verbally abusing the student.
Brianna -- a good student with solid grades -- was also suspended for five days as it is against Florida law to record a teacher.
The law reportedly protects the teacher’s privacy in his or her classroom.
Her suspension took place while students were preparing for the Florida Standards Assessment tests, which worried her mother.
“I thought I did the right thing,” said Brianna.
Her mother believes this punishment is unfair given the child’s age.
“She thought she was doing a good thing,” said Faulkner. “She’s eleven years old. She doesn’t know the law. “
Faulkner also says such punishment will discourage others from standing up for themselves in the face of abuse.
“[It’s] pretty much saying to students ... if you think anything is wrong, don’t try and do anything about it,” said Faulkner.
While many on social media were also outraged by the school’s punishment, some sympathized with the teacher.
“As a teacher, I don't believe students should be allowed cell phones in class (There are enough distractions without them.) and there are other ways the incident could have been reported,” wrote one user on Little Things' Facebook page.
While the user does agree the teacher was out of line, she added, “the school had to follow through on the rule that they have established by expelling Brianna. I'm sure her record will speak for itself if this issue ever came up. The administration can change rules at a neutral time.”