A high school chemistry teacher in Washington state is on administrative leave after she was caught allegedly allowing students to administer punishments to other students with a controversial technique, school officials confirmed last week.
Kem Patteson was placed on leave by administrators at Stevenson-Carson School District in Skamania County after two videos, reportedly shot in the teacher’s classroom, surfaced of students pelting classmates with Koosh balls for violating rules such as chewing gum in class.
The New York Daily News reports the latest video shows sophomore student, 15-year-old Zoey Zapf, being pelted last week with the rubber-fringed balls.
The previous video, reportedly shot in May, shows a male student cowering in a corner, covering his face with a notebook, while suffering the same punishment.
Zapf told KATU News the experience was “beyond humiliating.”
“I was chewing gum in class,” Zapf said. “She looked over and she told me to spin the wheel, and that's like a normal thing."
According to Zapf, students caught violating minor rules are told to spin the classroom’s “wheel of misfortune” to determine their punishment. When she spun the wheel, it landed on “Koosh firing squad.”
“I clearly said that I didn't want to do this, and after that I found out that you can opt out with a lunch detention,” Zapf said. “And when I said I don't want to do this, she said ‘too bad’ or something, and I got pelted."
Superintendent of the school district Dan Read said district officials decided to place Patteson on leave Thursday, shortly after they became aware of the video. The wheel has also been removed from the classroom.
“We take any matter of concern voiced by parents and students seriously,” Read said in a statement. “When the high school initially became aware of the incident at hand, it was dealt with in a prompt manner by the school principal.”
“The district has secured a third party investigator with the assistance of our district personnel office to look into the complaint,” the statement read.
Patteson’s future with the district will likely be determined after the investigation is concluded.
“I'm gonna be honest,” Zapf said. “I'm hoping she gets fired because it was beyond humiliating.”
Patteson did not immediately respond to email requests for comment.
Photo Source: Wikipedia