A Kentucky teacher in Bullitt County, who was fired after she dragged a first-grader 160 feet feet through a hallway, is back after winning an appeal.
The incident occurred on Oct. 29, 2014. First-grade teacher Ashley Silas, 30, was having difficulty getting control of her classroom.
Silas said one of her pupils was being disruptive and threatening another student. When she told the boy to go to the principal’s office, he refused. She then took matters into her own hands.
Surveillance cameras caught the moment when Silas grabbed the 6-year-old boy by his wrist and dragged him approximately 160 feet through the halls of Brooks Elementary School.
“I get a sick feeling in my stomach,” the boy’s father told WAVE3 in reference to the video. The family added that the boy suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, known as ADHD, and cannot take medication because he suffers from side effects.
The video shows the boy’s knees scraping the floor as Silas drags him. She stops once only to get a better grip on the boy’s wrist.
Silas was fired on Nov. 7 but she appealed the decision and won. She made the case that the boy was misbehaving and insisted that she did not hurt him. She added that the boy likes to be the center of attention and enjoyed sliding through the hall.
The three-member tribunal reached a decision in December. It concluded that although the teacher’s actions were “shocking and offensive to virtually everyone,” she did not deserve to be fired.
“(I)t does appear (the first-grader) was not harmed and did in fact enjoy sliding through the hall and being the center of attention,” the panel added.
Silas was given a seven-week suspension without pay. She has returned to work as a long-term substitute at Bullitt Lick Middle School.
The school district's attorney, Eric Farris, is shocked and said the district did not want to hire her back but the appeals system left no choice.
“You're dragging a child 160 feet by his wrist, past his peers and other teachers and a parent, who is in the office,” Farris said. “I mean in what world is that OK?”
Silas isn’t in the clear just yet. School district officials said they have not yet decided if they will appeal her case and Hillview Police are conducting their own investigation to determine if criminal charges should be brought against her.