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Bully or motivator? Teacher shames fourth-graders for flunking

Bully or motivator? A fourth-grade teacher in Idaho had  students who met their reading goals to draw on the faces of classmates who failed.


Bully or motivator in reading goals? An Idaho teacher let fourth-graders who met their reading goals write on the faces of kids who failed to meet their goals.


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A fourth-grade teacher in southern Idaho is being criticized after having her students use permanent markers to draw on the faces of classmates who failed to meet reading goals.

Some parents and administrators say the punishments given to nine students in Summer Larsen's class were inappropriate and left the children feeling shamed.

Cindy Hurst said recently her 10-year-old son came home from school Nov. 5 with his entire face – including his eyelids – scribbled on with green, red and purple markers.

"He was humiliated, he hung his head and wanted to go wash his face," Ms. Hurst told The Times-News of Twin Falls. "He knows he's a slow reader. Now he thinks he should be punished for it."

Ms. Larsen, who has taught at the school for six years, didn't respond to requests for comment. But Cassia County School District Superintendent Gaylen Smyer confirmed what took place in her classroom, though he didn't name Larsen.


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