NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families is investigating a fourth-grade teacher who allegedly instructed a student to give his resting classmate a wet willy in class.
Parent Candace Cherry told the New Haven Register an unidentified teacher at Wexler-Grant Community School allowed her daughter, a 10-year-old honors student, put her head down on her desk after finishing her work early last Monday.
Cherry alleges the teacher then told another student to wet his finger with his mouth and swirl it in the girl’s ear to wake her up.
“It’s nasty. It grossed me out,” Cherry told NBC Connecticut. “My daughter said when she woke up, everyone was laughing at her and then they proceeded to tell her what happened.”
The girl texted Cherry from another student’s phone, and Cherry asked her to call from the school office. When the girl didn’t call, Cherry called the school and learned the child was scolded for using a phone in school.
According to the Register:
Cherry said six students in the class heard the teacher first say to spit on the girl to wake her up, changing it to the wet willy directive — neither of which is OK with Cherry. A boy in the class gave Cherry’s daughter a wet willy, she said.
Cherry said the teacher admitted in a meeting that she invited students to give the girl a wet willy, but was only joking and didn’t expect anyone to do it. Cherry said the teacher denies that she told anyone to spit.
City Spokesman Laurence Grotheer told the news site “the staff member in question was immediately placed on leave and the matter was referred to the state Department of Children and Families.”
“School administrators and District officials are investigating the matter in collaboration with DCF and will take appropriate action – based on their findings – at the conclusion of the investigation,” he said.
The teacher apologized to Cherry’s daughter, but the girl’s family wants district officials to dole out a serious reprimand nonetheless.
“There has to be a consequence,” Cherry told the Register.
“I don’t see giving her a pat on the wrist and say ‘don’t do it again,’” the student’s grandfather, John Adkins, told NBC Connecticut. “It should be something a little harder than that.”
A representative with the Department of Children and Families refused to discuss the case.
Folks online, meanwhile, expressed mixed reactions.
“Now the teachers are encouraging bullying,” Valerie Echols posted to Facebook. “Shame on him/her.”
“How is this bullying, they are trying to wake her up,” Tee-Tee Lyn wrote. “Question is why is an elementary student sleeping in the middle of class?”
“How stupid,” Debby Gugliuzza posted. “Poor, poor distressed child (sarcasm).”