When 5-year-old Hailey Turner’s parents received a call that their daughter may be suffering an allergic reaction they rushed to her school. Mom, Ciara Morgan, told The Daily Beast that she was shocked to see the girl’s face was bruised and didn’t appear scratched.
When the kindergartner told them what happened to her face they were left shocked and angry.
“She said her teacher hit her and told her not to tell anyone,” Morgan said. “She said she’ll bring her an LOL doll if she doesn’t tell anyone.”
Hailey told them that the class was having computer time, and when it was over, she informed the teacher, identified is Tierra Smith, about a misbehaving student.
“And the teacher said, ‘No tattle tale,’ and got a ruler out of her desk and popped her with it,” Morgan said.
Corporal punishment is not banned in Tennessee schools. But Morgan said she and Hailey’s father were furious and demanded to see school higher-ups, who put them in contact with the Memphis Police Department and the Department of Child Services.
Two weeks later, Morgan is still angry.
According to the Commercial Appeal, which first reported on the incident, the district opened an investigation but was unable to prove Hailey’s allegation.
However, it was determined that the teacher had hit Hailey on the hand to “redirect” her and gave Smith a two-day suspension.
When the teacher returned to the classroom Hailey was transferred to a different class with no notice from the district.
The family then decided to take Hailey out of Cummings and transfer her to a different school.
“It’s wrong,” she said. “Why does my daughter have to leave her comfort zone? They should have put her in a different school.”
Morgan says the worst part is that Hailey feels guilty.
“She keeps saying, ‘I didn’t want to snitch on her and get her in trouble.’ She felt like she was in the wrong.”