‘Yes ma’am’

Mother says her child, 10, was punished for addressing his teacher with a term of respect

Tamarion Wilson was punished for calling his teacher, "Ma'am." (Twitter)

A North Carolina teacher has found herself the subject of controversy after it was revealed that she punished a 10-year-old boy for saying, “Yes, ma’am,” according to a report from ABC7. Teretha Wilson, the mother of fifth-grade student Tamarion Wilson said that teacher had barred students from calling her ‘ma’am,’ but that she had raised her son to use the term as a matter of respect. After Tamarion accidentally called the teacher “ma’am” during class, Wilson said, the teacher told the child that “if she had something, she would have thrown it at him.”

“It wasn’t right. It wasn’t professional. As a teacher, it wasn’t appropriate. And I asked her why she thought it was OK to do that,” Wilson said.

Tamarion, she added, was forced to write the word repeatedly during class as a punishment — a fact she discovered after her son brought the sheet to her and said that the teacher had asked her to sign it before he brought it back to class the next day. She said she was concerned over the teacher’s behavior toward Tamarion, who was hospitalized just last month over seizure-related activity that included memory loss and hallucinations. Wilson was also unhappy about the fact that he had lost out on learning time in class while instead being forced to write ‘ma’am’ over and over repeatedly. A picture of the punishment sheet went viral on Wednesday after it was shared by a family member, prompting more than 1,000 comments from social media users.

Wilson has since met with the teacher and principal, and said that the teacher acknowledged her apparent threat but insisted that she hadn’t been serious and that Tamarion knew that. The principal, she said, agreed to allow her son to be moved to a class where his habit of using the term of respect wouldn’t be treated as an affront.

Watch video coverage of the story below.

Read the full story at The Root.

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