MOORESVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - A video has surfaced online in which a teacher in Mooresville criticizes a special needs student who she had been tasked with watching while the rest of the class was on a field trip.
The Mooresville High School teacher posted the video online and it received backlash from viewers who questioned why the educator was posting video of the girl in the background and critiquing her behavior.
In the video, the teacher says, “This girl has not made a peep since we got into the classroom from the bus. Her unruly behavior was literally just to get out of the field trip and now we both get to sit here and stare at each other for the next three hours while the class is gone. Happy freakin’ Wednesday.”
The student can be seen sitting by herself in a wheelchair while the teacher records the video.
“It’s already twice as hard to do anything in a wheel chair,” said Stefanie Ziolkowski, a woman who has used a wheelchair since she was paralyzed in 2012.
“You’re in a big giant chair so it’s not like people don’t notice you,” said Ziolkowski.
When she saw the video, she says the teachers response was hurtful.
She said that kind of reaction to a student could be hurtful to any student, including one dealing with a disability.
Mooresville High School has confirmed that the teacher was formerly employed at their school but no longer works there.
“By law, the school board cannot comment on any specific employee matters. However, it is important for parents and the community to understand that anytime a question arises regarding the conduct of a school employee specific to their job, the superintendent and school administrators work diligently to ensure the best possible outcome for our students,” Chief Communication Officer Tanae Sump-McLean at the Mooresville Graded School District said on Friday.
“I was able to see the impression on the teacher’s face as she was saying it. It definitely showed it didn’t seem like she really cared that much," said Tristen Hughes.
Hughes said he’d heard about the video and was upset after watching it.
He’s a Mooresville High alumni and volunteered with special Olympics.
“Very careless in the situation like it was a punishment for her to have to sit there with the student for three hours," said Hughes.
“It’s disappointing that somebody is in that specialized area in the school system that truly thinks that enough to put it on social media," said Ziolkowski.
Andee Burton knows the teacher and said she thinks the reaction to the video is too much.
“She is a human, people make mistakes and I guarantee you she will never make the mistake again," said Burton. “For someone to have to lose their job or feel like they need to resign from their career because of the way people are treating them and embarrassing and humiliating them on social media is totally unfair.”
“I think that’s probably the best for everybody. It’s unfortunate that the school put time and money into hiring her and then for her to behave like that,” said Ziolkowski.