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School Discipline Gone Wrong: 7 Yr Old Loses 3 Teeth

By: Krystle Crossman

Sometimes children need to be disciplined in school but this should never be done with force. One parent in Pennsylvania is furious as this is the method of punishment that her 7 year old special needs daughter’s teacher decided to use.

Harmani Osbey was chewing on her sweater in class. The teacher told her to stop doing it. She did not so the adult that was contracted by the school district to work with Harmani yanked the sweater out of her mouth. Along with the sweater came three of her teeth as well. Harmani’s mother was called and when she got to the school and found out what had happened she was furious. She is determined to press charges against the helper whose name has not been released.

The reports from the other adults who were in the classroom at the time said that the helper yanked the sweater out of her mouth. Others said that it was roughly pulled out of her mouth. Harmani’s three teeth fell into her lap. She said that the helper pulled really hard and they fell on the floor.

The school district had representative Fernando Gallard speak about the incident. He said that they hire these helpers to work with children who may have behavior issues and that they are supposed to be trained to properly work with the child. They are supposed to show compassion and respect and never do anything harmful, especially physically, to the child. This helper has been banned from ever being contracted with Solis-Cohen Elementary. She is also currently under investigation and suspended from work.

There haven’t been any charges filed yet but they have the school district and DHS investigating the matter to see if criminal charges will be filed against the helper. Harmani’s mother, Tomeka Speller is having Harmani transferred to a different school.

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36 thoughts on “School Discipline Gone Wrong: 7 Yr Old Loses 3 Teeth

  1. Carolyn M.

    The parent transfers the child to another school. The child’s behavior goes also. The new teacher and/or helper coddle the child. Child gets her way. Who is between is being helped?

    • SayWhat

      Carolyn, do you have any idea what you’re talking about? There are gentler ways for professions to instruct children with special needs and accomplish behavior modification. I hope you don’t have kids or work with them.

      • Tonia

        Carol…I hope that you don’t have kids, cause they are coming to get them !!!…Why would any adult yank anything out of a child’s mouth? especially a non-relative and a special needs child !!!!

    • Tracey

      Exactly what “behavior” are you speaking of Carolyn? The act of chewing her own sweater? Yeah, and I’m sure she’s hurting a lot of people by doing that. If you have not realized yet, the helpers actions hurt the child more than the child’s act did.

    • Margaret

      I’m sorry Carolyn but I worked with special needs students and this was wrong. How would you feel if it was your child. As for the child chewing on her clothes, there could’ve been something wrong yet you wouldn’t’ know if you didn’t ask first.

    • mmdccbslm

      you’re one of those dumbassed racists, aren’t you? probably a professed christian as well. and certainly you don’t have kids.

    • Cassie H

      The child’s behavior has nothing to do with being miss-treated and I really don’t think her chewing on her own sweater deserve having three teeth yanked out of her mouth by the hands of a trained adult that supposedly had training dealing with special needs children.

    • C Watts

      Are you just STUPID on purpose?? First of all, the child is a special needs student. Second of all, it seems you’re condoning what that stupid ass helper did? I condone with Bigwood 1 – that B wouldn’t be eating solids for a VERY long time. Disgusting for any child to be treated like that, but one with special needs?? You admire Hitler don’t you??

  2. Theo

    See this is the reason WHY NO PARENT should ALLOW other Adults as teachers or any other so called community advocate to put their HANDS on YOUR CHILD as disciplinary actions..WHY? You don’t KNOW the background of these PPL that you’re allowing corporate discipline actions taken against your CHILD, of which I TOTALLY disagree with in public schools, namely legal in the BACKWARDS SOUTH.. hideous!!.

  3. keepbothbarrelsloaded

    Abuse is abuse. Sometimes kids do things without realizing it because it has becomea habit. I do not think the girl was being defiant. Sounds like to me that the school official reacted emotionally loss control and that’s how the poor baby got injured. Some one need to snatch her teeth out. Sue the damm school! Smdh

  4. Carolyn M.

    SayWhat thank you so very much.The new teacher and helper are now very cautious. Everything they do will be put under a microscope. They ask the child if the child wants to participate in class activities. If child says no , they move to the next activity. Child picks what he/she wants. That includes just laying down on the floor. Who is in charge of the classroom? These kids do what they want when they want. What “gentler ways” do you suggest?

    • Carleise

      Carolyn what don’t you understand about special needs!!! She has to be dealt with differently than a normal child. I pray you don’t have children of your own. It’s not like she’s just a bad child, she has SPECIAL NEEDS! All you saw was behavior.

    • Diann Kirby

      Carolyn M.: You can’t be serious. Do you even understand what ‘special needs’ means ?? I can’t believe that anyone could be so cruel to a child, especially a special needs child. I am with SayWhat, I really, really, really hope that you do not have kids nor work with kids in any way. You seriously need some psychological help in the worst way. Please seek it out as soon as possible.

    • CJ

      Haha you have a wild imagination. Just focus on the facts and yes anyone working with children should be careful and handle the kids with care. Its also realistic to think that some children’s especially special needs children’s behavior can’t be helped in the classroom. After all their teachers not therapists.

      Perhaps you are just enjoying the negative attention by writing these abstract responses… In that we case we are all wasting our time talking to you in general.

    • C Watts

      Why are you commenting? What you just described as NOTHING to do with this child’s teeth being yanked out of her mouth for chewing on her OWN sweater? For a special needs child, this is probably a way to calm herself. I have a son who is autistic and NEVER would any of the teacher’s do what that helper bitch did – ever!

      There are ways of dealing with children with special needs…wait…are you some kind of troll? No one is this STUPID on purpose.

  5. angela

    Carolyn you sound abusive. As a teacher you are in control of the classroom at all times. It starts Day 1 it’s not up to the kids what they want or don’t want to do. Special needs mean just that special needs, it take a special person to teach these kids. I hope you don’t work with our kids. Not only would this Helper be facing charges so would I for beating your a****.

  6. Pingback: 7 year-old special needs student loses three teeth in school discipline incident | North Dallas Gazette

  7. Valarie Stewart

    Baby teeth? Loose baby teeth or permanent teeth? 7-year-old kids lose teeth all of the time. Can healthy permanent teeth “fall out” if someone pulls a sweater out of a child’s mouth? The article doesn’t say what kind of teeth the little girl lost.

  8. Elaine

    To Krystle Crossman, the author of this article, your first paragraph blames it on the teacher–as I copy and paste: “One parent in Pennsylvania is furious as this is the method of punishment that her 7 year old special needs daughter’s teacher decided to use.” According to the news reports here in Philly, It was not the teacher who pulled the sweater from the child’s mouth. It was a school-district appointed school employee assigned to the child to monitor her behavior and prevent her behavior from interrupting instruction. In Philadelphia, these employees are called one-on-one. According to the news stories here in Philly, the teacher and other staff members who witnessed it gave a written account of what happened and their accounts all said the same thing. THEY were not trying to hide anything or protect said employee.

  9. Veronica Jones-Brown

    Questions: In what way was chewing on the sweater interfering with class? Is not chewing on her clothing designated for behavior modification as part of the child’s Individualized Education Plan as outlined in the ARD?

    If chewing on her clothing was not disruptive to classroom instruction it should not have been dealt with in an open manner in the classroom.

    I’m having difficulty understanding how chewing on her sweater was a behavior issue that warranted censor.

    Question: Could this be an issue of control, dominance and oppression in the classroom?

  10. Veronica Jones-Brown

    Exactly, Lauralei. My point was that the entire incident would have been avoided if the matter was handled properly. If the the student’s behavior did not interfere with class, here chewing on her sweater was a non issue, unless chewing clothing is prohibited in her IEP. If so, other methods of getting the child to stop chewing her clothing should have been employed as outlined in the IEP developed in the ARD. She should have a discipline plan in place; one that does not include rough handling.

    No child should be handled in any way that causes bodily harm. Extracting teeth included.

    My statements and questions go to understanding the climate of the classroom and the teacher’s and paraprofessional’s attitude and daily treatment of this child. The paraprofessional’s behavior seems extreme.

  11. Kimberly

    I dont have any children but I know if this was my child and the teacher did this to my kid that teacher would be picking her own teeth off that classroom carpet!Escorting the child to the principals office would have been the smart thing to do.

  12. Alanla Jackson

    After reading all the comments, I agree with many, and agree most of all with Veronica Jones-Brown. To write anything in additional would only be repressing what many of you have said.

  13. A. G.

    I am slowly losing all respect for teachers, as well as their helpers! If they are not sexually abusing children, they are physically abusing them. It is apparent the teacher nor the helper should be in the school system. She had to have jerked awfully hard to pull three teeth out and it does not take a mental heavy weight to figure that one out, Carolyn either you are an idiot or you do not have the ability to comprehend what is said or written!

  14. Renee Boseman

    If the child was chewing on her sweater what did it matter to the teacher. I taught school and kids were always doing annoying stuff like that. As long as it wasn’t hurting anybody or interfering with the lesson, I’d overlook it.

  15. Kaisinger

    I don’t know why any of you are wasting your comments on the few idiots who have access to a keyboard. They thrive on your rebuttals. I believe some of them get hard ons or some sensation from reading the comments you guys post. I say ignore their stupid posts and let them live in their lonely state. As for that contractor, she needs to thank her lucky stars, that the child she yanked a sweater from the mouth of, was not mine daughter. She would be eating soup through an incision of her throat.

  16. Bert C

    The School District needs to be sued. There is no way this teacher was trained. If she was trained, then she has impulse control issues or other social issues or beliefs that gets in her way of acting pro-social manner.


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