A North Carolina 10-year-old was punished by his teacher for calling her ma’am. According to reports, Teretha Wilson noticed something was wrong with her son Tamarion when he got off the school bus last week. She asked him how was his day and he told her he got in trouble for calling his teacher “ma’am.”
Wilson was confused until she pulled out a sheet of looseleaf from Tamarion’s book bag and saw he wrote the word “ma’am” four times per line on each side of paper. The boy said his teacher told him to write the word because he kept referring to her as “ma’am” despite her telling him not to do so.
Wilson and Tamarion’s father McArthur Bryant say they teach their kids to refer to adults as “ma’am” and “sir” so this punishment was a bit odd for them.
“At the end of the day as a father, to feel kind of responsible for that…knowing that I have been raising him and doing the best that I can, it’s not acceptable,” said Bryant.
Tamarion was also hospitalized last month for a seizure-related activity, which includes hallucinations and memory loss. His teacher reportedly did not know. Tamarion also said his teacher said to him “if she had something, she would have thrown it at him.”
Wilson met with the teacher and principal and said the teacher admitted to saying that, but was kidding and assumed Tamarion understood her comment was made in jest.
“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,” said Wilson.