Elementary sub teacher let go after claim she slapped 1st-grader

RALEIGH, North Carolina -- A Wake County mom is hoping charges will be filed against a substitute teacher she claims slapped her first-grader on the arm during art class.

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The incident has prompted WCPSS administrators to investigate what happened at Wilburn Elementary School on Wednesday afternoon.

RonShawna Finch said the principal called her, letting her know four other students saw it happen, that the substitute was told to hand over her badge and was escorted from the building.

Finch said she doesn't know what exactly led up to the incident, but it started when her daughter was walking to get markers.

"The teacher told Tasiyah to shut up," said Finch. "That Tasiyah stated back, you know, you don't tell me to shut up. And that's when she hit her on her forearm. And Tasiyah said she hit her very hard."

The pupil left the classroom to tell her primary teacher, who then reported it to the principal.

A WCPSS spokesperson told ABC11 that the district has put a hiring freeze on the substitute, whose references and criminal background were checked before coming on board with the school system.

If another school district asks for references for the teacher, WCPSS would inform of her frozen status with Wake County Schools.

"I just really hope that she's not able to teach anymore," Finch said. "It needs to stop. Like, you cannot abuse kids."

Knowing the substitute was no longer working in the school, Finch sent her daughter, who was uninjured, back to school Thursday morning.

By Thursday evening, the principal sent a message to all Wilburn Elementary families, informing them of an incident that happened at school with a substitute teacher. The message didn't elaborate beyond letting parents know all students were safe and an investigation was underway.

"Instant panic," Debbie Covington, the grandmother of a first grader at Wilburn said Friday to describe her reaction to the message. "I feel they did need to put the parents' minds at ease. I really just wish there was a little more communication. Mostly if this did not happen yesterday, and we just found out about it."
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