Published November 16, 2012
A Idaho school district is investigating after a fourth-grade teacher reportedly punished students who didn't reach their reading goals by having their classmates paint the slower readers' faces.
KBOI reports the students at Declo Elementary were given the option of either missing recess or having their face painted. Their peers were given markers to draw mustaches, goatees and names on the slower readers.
The school's principal reportedly told KBOI she was aware of the punishment, and the school district superintendent said the students actually had a say in the punishment.
"The class had discussed their accelerated reading goals and tried to put together incentives," Gaylen Smyer told KBOI. "One of the incentives is that those who met their goal would be able to paint the face of those who didn't meet their goal."
One parent of a student who was painted on said the incident amounted to school-sponsored bullying.
"Not only was my son punished with bullying but the other students were rewarded with bullying," the parent told KBOI. "They are being taught that bullying is okay and that there's nothing wrong with this."
However, another parent said she supported the punishment.
"I'm one of many parents who stand by the teacher's methods and what she does," Carla Christensen, a local mom, told KBOI.
The school district is investigating the incident, and says they take all reports of bullying seriously.