When Nadya Miranda confronted her daughter’s first-grade teacher for what she considered a cruel reprimand, she got a quite simple explanation: The teacher, Charlotte Dial, was having a bad day.
Someone in the school, New York’s Success Academy, had handed her a video recording last month showing the teacher chastising her daughter, banishing her to the “calm-down-chair” and ripping up her school work. She also told the class she was upset and disappointed at the 6-year-old because she could not solve a math problem.
When the video became public thanks to a New York Times posting, the school sent out an email to parents asking for their understanding and to withhold judgment of the teacher.
The now infamous clip was recorded surreptitiously by an assistant teacher in 2014.
Following a press conference with the school, the school founder Eva S. Moscowitz defended Ms. Dial, saying she’d apologized to the students.
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Miranda eventually removed her daughter from the charter school, where she had been proudly placed when she won a place in a lottery.
Miranda, who is only 23, lives with her two children in a family shelter.
Miranda told the New York Times her daughter often seemed discouraged, even though she was succeeding in math.
“She used to tell me: ‘I’m never going to get it. I just don’t know. I’m not as smart as the other kids,’” Miranda said. “I would hear that from her, and I’d be like, ‘Where are you getting this from?’”
The young mother went to the education authorities to inquire about filing a complaint but was told that Success Academy is independently operated and not a part from the school district.
In a statement, Success Academy spokesman Stefan Friedman said the school was “Sorry Ms. Miranda chose to withdraw her daughter.”
Miranda was raised primarily by her mother, who spoke only Spanish and suffered from heart disease and diabetes. In the ninth grade, she became pregnant, and has since earned her high school equivalency, worked as a home health aide and today earns money babysitting.