North Carolina mom in ‘disbelief’ after son, 10, punished for calling teacher ‘ma’am’

The piece of paper on which Tamarion, 10, was told to write the word "ma'am" as a form of punishment.

The piece of paper on which Tamarion, 10, was told to write the word “ma’am” as a form of punishment.

(SOURCE)    The mother of a 10-year-old boy in North Carolina is outraged that her son was recently punished for calling his fifth grade teacher “ma’am.”

“I was in disbelief,” Teretha Wilson, the boy’s mother, told Fox News on Saturday.

Wilson noticed her son, Tamarion, was not himself when she picked him up from the bus stop earlier this week.

“I asked him what was wrong, and he told me he got in trouble for saying ‘ma’am’ to a teacher. I was confused,” she said.

Inquiring further, Wilson asked her son to give more detail about the incident. That’s when the fifth-grader at North East Carolina Preparatory School in Tarboro, North Carolina, pulled out a piece of lined paper with the word ma’am written dozens of times.

Wilson was shocked, especially when Tamarion told her that his teacher, who has not been formally identified, told him that he was required to return the piece of paper with a parent’s signature.

The young boy also claimed that the teacher threatened to throw something at him during the incident, his mother said.

“He was disappointed because he felt like he had done something wrong,” she said.

The next afternoon, Wilson went to the school to meet with Tamarion’s teacher and the school’s principal. With her she brought a separate piece of paper on which her son had written the definition of ma’am. (According to the Oxford Dictionaries, ma’am is defined as “a term of respectful or polite address used for a woman”).

Wilson claims Tamarion’s teacher told her that her son “was getting on her nerve when he called her ma’am” but “couldn’t give me a reason of why that was bad.” The teacher also claimed Tamarion knew that she wasn’t serious when she allegedly threatened to throw something at him, Wilson said.

Tamarion has been placed in a different teacher’s class since the incident occured.

In a statement to ABC 11, an official with the school called the situation a “personnel matter,” which “has been handled appropriately by the K-7 principal.”

Still, Wilson said she plans to call the school board on Monday to see “if they’re really going to handle it,” though she did not elaborate on what this would entail.

“This is about my child being respectful, then threatened to be hit with something. This isn’t about racism, as some people have made it out to be,” Wilson said, referring to some of the comments on a family member’s Facebook post where she detailed the incident.

Moving forward, Wilson said she has encouraged her son to “always be respectful to [his] elders even if they don’t want to be called ma’am,” she said.

“Is this what happens from raising your child in a good way?” she asked.

A spokesperson for North East Carolina Preparatory School did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. 

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6 thoughts on “North Carolina mom in ‘disbelief’ after son, 10, punished for calling teacher ‘ma’am’

  1. so sad! I actually struggled with the same thing for years. I had female teachers who were offended saying it made them feel old, and some female teachers upset when you didn’t use it. And like wise with the male teachers, especially in regard to veterans. To say sir got the same comment, but in two different ways… “Don’t call me Sir. I work for a living.” OR “Call me Sir. I work for a living.” Fortunately no one threw anything at me. I pray for affected by this, especially the 10 yr old boy.

    • Thanks for your comment Gaillovesgod!

      This teacher was so much in the wrong in so many ways!

      I can understand many veterans who say don’t call me sir, they were taught to only call commissioned officers sir or ma’am, I know, I’ve been there done that! At times I have been called sir myself and responded please don’t call me sir call me by my name. I didn’t do it out of anger but out of humility not wanting to sound more important then they are. As I got older I have learned to accept being called sir knowing and understanding that the person addressing me is showing respect for my age.

      I still address people in authority as sir or ma’am, especially police officers, judges, etc, no matter their age, and many of them are much younger than I am. If we are in a role of authority then we should expect to be addressed by some people as sir or ma’am.

      This child was totally right and was raised by his parents to respect authority, a rare thing these days! This child deserves praise for his actions and should be a role model for other students and young people today.

      At the very least this teacher should apologize to both the student and his parents. She should also be reprimanded and punished for her actions especially if she threatened to throw something at the child! That is assault no matter what the age of the victim is! She was 100% in the wrong, and as a person in a role of authority she needs to praise children that show respect. She should have used him as an example to the other children not as a perpetrator, what in the world is she teaching those children?!

      Unfortunately this is the world in which we live, these are the signs of the times, this is how our children are being taught in school, when good is bad and bad is good! This is how the Left is responding to the righteous things in the world. I don’t believe that this is an isolated incident, just one that was found out and reported on.

      Come Lord Jesus come! God bless!

  2. In my job I call every woman “Miss” and every man “Sir.” About once every five years an older woman will correct me and suggest I should have said “Ma’am” to them. I know I should, to be correct, to older women… but many thank me for saying “Miss” instead.

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