Teacher under investigation after student said she was pushed

Posted at 4:13 PM, Sep 22, 2016
and last updated 2017-03-02 17:38:07-05

A West High School teacher is under investigation after a student claims she was pushed by the teacher. 

Mikayla Means is a senior and was in her chemistry class where she said the incident happened on September 16.

Means said it all started after she asked her teacher about an assignment. 

"She was like, 'you know what, here give me this paper.' She crumbled it and threw it over her shoulder," Means said.

"She had a stack of papers in her hand [and] she was like 'you know what, here take this one.' She just pushed it to the point to where my body actually moved back," Means said. 

Means said after that she went to the counselor's office, so that she could tell administrators at the school what went on in her class. 

"I started crying because I was upset," she said. "I was in shock because I didn’t know that the conversation was even on that level for her to even react that way."

That teacher is now under investigation by both the West Independent School District and the West Police Department.

But Means' aunt, Nikki Cashaw, says the way the school is handing this issue has her upset.

"They’re going to do everything in their power to make sure everything is handled the correct way but nothing was even started off the correct way from the jump," she said.

Superintendent David Truitt said the steps that should've been taken after the incident happened did not happen in a timely manner.

The superintendent said that the steps that are place in case a situation like this happens are:

  • A statement from the student should been taken immediately
  • The teacher should immediately be removed from the class and a substitute should be put in place
  • The parents or guardians of the student should be notified
  • Statements from all of the students in the classroom should be taken
  • The West Police Department resource officer should be contacted

Although Means left the class after the incident occurred, Truitt said the teacher did remain in the class for the rest of the day. He said the teacher was removed from the class and placed on paid administrative leave the following Monday after Means said she was pushed.  

The superintendent also said contacting Means' family, the gathering statements from the students, and contacting the West Police Department were also not done in as timely of a manner as he thought they should have been done. 

Cashaw said that although Means told the family about the teacher allegedly pushing her before noon, an administrator from the school did not contact them until after 4:00 p.m. 

"I just feel like the situation has been dealt with poorly. You know, communication first," she said.  "I’ve worked with kids for basically all my life, and I know you’re not supposed to touch a child." 

Cashaw said she has sent numerous emails to school administrators and has given statements to the West Police Department. 

A statement sent from Truitt said that the district will "continue to work closely with the family and student through the investigation," and that "the safety and security of our students is our number one priority."

Safety and security of other students is what Means' said is a number one concern.

"I’m not saying she should be fired or banished but if she did it to me it could happen to anyone’s child."

Truitt said the teacher could face anything from being reprimanded to being fired. Chief Darryl Barton with West Police said although the teacher is still under investigation, he thinks she could likely be charged with a Class C misdemeanor. 

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