An educator in New York City was fired recently after she had her students write reasons why they disliked a classmate on a blackboard.
Madeline Luciano was terminated from her teaching position at P.S. 18 in New York City after officials say she had her students write down reasons why they disliked a 13-year-old classmate.
According to a report by the Department of Education's Office of Special investigations, the issue occurred on June 4, 2014, when the 13-year-old girl returned to class after dropping off paperwork to the school's principal. Upon her return, the girl discovered that her school bag was missing and reported this to Luciano. When the girl and Luciano found the bag, the contents were inside out and pages of her portfolio were torn.
Luciano then asked her class if they knew what had occurred. The students told her that they disliked the girl and began to call her names.
The educator then demanded that her students write a letter of reasons why they felt that way.
Allegedly, one of the students got up and began to write down reasons on a chalkboard, though Luciano claims she did not expressly order this.
Students would later tell investigators that Luciano asked for a student to write the comments on the board while the other students said them aloud.
"Everybody started screaming bad stuff," said one student to investigators.
The comments ranged from the girl's "attitude and how fake she is around people" as well as calling her an "ugly person" and how "she annoys people," according to DNAInfo.com
The abuse only stopped when Luciano realized that the girl was crying. According to Luciano, it was then that she realized her mistake and ended the assignment.
The student who was writing on the chalkboard then erased the board and wrote "sorry."
Luciano said she then told the class that "they needed to work as a team and that they needed to treat each other with love."
According to the DNAInfo.com, the girl has dealt with bullying in the past.
Connie Mejia, the principal of P.S. 18, fired Luciano four months after the initial incident, when Department of Education officials concluded their investigation. Investigators found the teacher guilty of employee misconduct and advised the principal to execute "appropriate disciplinary action."
The former teacher is now looking to appeal her termination, saying that being fired was "an abuse of discretion," according to DNAInfo.com. She has reportedly filed a petition in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
Bullying results in more than 4,000 deaths among young people per year, as victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims. It is the third leading cause of death amongst students and young people, according to BullyingStatistics.org.