Odds are you’ve seen a sign like this one outside your local public school. SafePlace is a program that was set up to help women who have experienced violence. Over the past few decades, SafePlace has evolved to help children who have experienced abuse as well. The idea is that parents can be at ease knowing that their child is in a safe environment, as well as receiving an education. Children who endure violence in their homes often struggle academically and socially.
One school in Texas disrupted the idea of the safe place. Aiden Neely was accused of being a bully in his kindergarten class at Salinas Elementary School. The teacher chose an unusual form of punishment, and made each student slap Aiden on the face twice. There were twenty four students in the class.
The teacher, who told Aiden not to tell his mother, has been fired and is facing misdemeanor charges. Another teacher, whose name has not been released, is also facing charges for not reporting the incident. In Texas, the misdemeanor charge is for a public official who misuses their position. Aiden’s mother, Amy, wants to make sure the teacher can never step foot inside another classroom.