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May 14th, 2010
03:33 PM ET

Teacher apologizes for attack on student

A Texas teacher caught on tape attacking one of her students says she regrets her action.

This is the cell phone video of last month's incident at a Houston-area alternative school.

The teacher in that video, Sheri Lynn Davis, issued an apology today with her attorney by her side.

We want to know what you think about the apology.
Leave your comments here, and we'll read some of them on air this weekend.

Filed under: CNN Newsroom • Fredricka Whitfield
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Marcus Lee

    There is absolutely no excuse or apology that would be acceptable, this teacher should be in jail as of right now. I wouldn't want to even imagine if that was my child, we send our children to school to learn and be protected while they are away from us! Due to technology now days she has no way to say she's not guilty but I can only imagine how many other cases like this go unreported. Makes you wonder how many other kids she may have abused in this fashion!

    May 14, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  2. Sharon

    The apology offered by the Houston teacher appears scripted and unfeeling. She doesn't seem to have any remorse for her actions, specifically because she called it an 'incident' as opposed to what it really was – a blatant disregard for the welfare of a child and an exhibition of her own power over a child. She should not only be fired, but arrested for the abuse afflicted on that child. It's a shame that people like her are allowed to present themselves as authorities over our children. I'm happy that my daughter is an adult, but fearful of what my grandchildren may face when they start school. God help the young boy and his family receive justice.

    May 14, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  3. sonya sanchez moreno

    im 30 yrs old and i've got a very bad temper problem.i was released from jail just this morning for violently attacking someone of my age.i must take anger management.i don't condone anyone beating a child i would never allow myself to standby and watch as a grown women attack a child.those of you who feel it was only her frustration due to being a teacher should be ashamed.thats like saying it's okay for parents to beat their only child because they had a bad day at work so tell me where you all see fit?i do not believe her apology was sincere she showed no signs of emotion nor remorse for that child, i heard only a plea to the people to understand she was protecting a child who was being made front of because of her i ask who protected that little boy in that room that day?her punishment should be to spend time in prison and not ever teach again..i ask the american people today do you think we should let someone else get away with the same type of crime if the circumstances were to be a stranger attacking a child thats just play ing at the park?what's the difference..

    May 14, 2010 at 7:40 pm |
  4. Carl

    Apology so what. Teacher should be fired immediately and criminal assault charges filed. Anything less would be a joke.

    May 14, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  5. maze1gerald

    The teacher sould have used more restraint,I feel the apology was the right thing to do.A lot of teachers are under temendous stress in dealing with unruly students,some are bound to break.teachers are human.from what I know teachers put up with disrespect and sometimes physical abuse from students.some teachers here have been seriously injured from students.I have been to one high school were a lot of students were thugs and rowdys,the poor teachers acted like they were really afraid of those teacher even told me at elemetary school that a parent sometime ticked off at the kids for getting suspended have jumped on teachers.namely mothers.I have been around mothers who tell their kids,you don't have do anything you don't want to do at school,and they will say who cares about those teachers.I'm not suprised by what happened.This a manifestation of a larger problem.of no discipline in schools and no respect for the education system from some.I see what looks like low morale in a lot of teachers.because they are raised that way a lot of kids have no respect for adults.I see it as a goverment problem and a parent problem.teachers are dealing with kids being raised by a lot of uncerned and what I call loser mothers.that stay up late and sleep late.I've seen it over and over so there's no need of my blog being criticized.So lets not make that teacher a monster she is human.

    May 15, 2010 at 12:38 am |
  6. john doe

    1, U got caught, 2, U got caught on camrea, 3, U attacked a student, Now honestly, Why do you need a lawyer??? What u didn't do it or what??? Ask the student and whatever he/she might say, stupid or not, this is what u must do!!! This is "HUMAN LAW"!!! The child needs his/her "RESPCT" back!!! GOOD LUCK!!! USA is the way!!!

    May 15, 2010 at 6:13 am |
  7. Deanpap

    As a fellow teacher, I can probably understand the level of frustration any teacher goes through on a daily basis. As a Dean in my high school, I have had teachers break down and cry over the daily harassment they receive by their students. We have teachers who are verbally abused by their students, they have been threatened, their cars have been vandalized ect. We teachers can not so much as argue with an out of control child because it may lead to a complaint and possible removal from class. In this particular case, if that was the teacher striking the 6th grader, what type of wardrobe are you wearing, how could our students respect us if we are dressed as thugs with our pants down. How could the administration allow a professional to come to work and look like a perp. I admit I don't always dress in business attire at work, but my pants don't reveal my underwear. Could this teacher have had a breakdown before this incident?

    May 15, 2010 at 8:14 am |

    Well, she's obviously done the right thing. I think that this is the least she can do if it's a genuine apology. However, is she sorry about beating the student or is she sorry she got caught on camera? You can't beat or assault someone, end up in court over it, say 'I'm sorry', and it's over and done with. She needs counseling and possibly some form of legal sanctioning, so that this has a smaller chance of happening with her again.

    May 15, 2010 at 8:42 am |
  9. joyce

    The teacher needs to take some anger management class along with a sensibility class so that she better understands the needs of each student. What she did was absolutely wrong. Instead of being fired she needs to take these classes.

    May 15, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  10. Jonathan

    This is poposterous! She says she wouldn't do this action if she had another chance, but what if she didn't get caught? She would have another chance and would most likely do it again. Thank god someone recorded it.

    May 15, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  11. Helen in Austell

    Apology accepted, you're FIRED!!!

    May 15, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  12. JAM7295

    I support that teacher! She gave that boy what his loved oned did not, punishment for his horrible behavior. she deserves a medal. His bad but had terrorized students and teachers and he finally got what he deserved!

    May 15, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  13. Nadeem

    It would be a real shame if she did not do at least a little jail time.

    Thankfully, technology has come so far that almost everyone now has a camera on their phone and people can be held acvountable for their terrible actions!

    May 15, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  14. Theron

    I think she is sorry, she made a mistake. Firing her was the right thing to do. She must have been really pissed off. The thing is, she was just swinging on that kid.She wooped him, like he stole something. I think the mother should've confronted that teacher herself, you can't let nobody beat your kid like that.That kid had to be terrified. If she does this to someone else's child, one can only imagine what she would do to her own kids.

    May 15, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  15. Vasu

    Hi Fredricka:

    What ever her reason's were or what ever she was thinking while going towards a kid like she was in african safari and hunting or trying to hurt another soul to show her power and position.
    Even, in Asian countries teacher don't beat kids in such manner.
    Look at this women going towards the kid, kicking off the table, books and then, approaching like a tribal person, positioning herself to attack and this little boy sits in the corner with fear.
    How horrible can you be to pounce on him and pull him, beat him.

    What does she think? That she is a big cat or a cheetah toss the kid like her hunt. And she is apologizing for her act and if she had a chance she would approach differently. I can beat she would beat him in a different way but with equal anger.

    I think, she is not guilty or sorry for the kid. She is apologizing for her act. But what about the child.

    This act of her as scared many parents and I just got disturbed just seeing her approach him like a hunter.

    May 15, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  16. mike

    Where are the criminal charges? Where are Child Protective Services, the Police? This looks to be a criminal assault, Why have I not heard about her arrest, and time before a judge. Being a teacher should not be a reason not to charge her with criminal charges. Classes are not what she needs, she needs jail time! She should be barred from ever working with children.

    May 15, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  17. Jim in Illinois

    This happened at a Charter School. CNN, the Obama Administration and others continue to champion Charters as a magic solution for the challenges in education. Most Charter Schools are not subject to the same rules or oversight as regular public schools. Too many Charters have virtually no accountability.
    All teachers in all our schools are facing more and more unruly and disruptive students and all too often disinterested or even hostile parents. Teachers need training, mentoring and support to survive and be effective.
    And Charter Schools need to be subject to the same standards and accountability as regular public schools.

    May 15, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  18. Frank

    It is sad that many students go look for safety and secure and someone whom they think they can trust to only find themselves in danger. There is a case here in waco TX about a teacher might want to chek it out

    May 15, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  19. fyba

    the teacher obviously resented the fact that the student laughed at a learning impaired classmate, which is a good thing. unfortunately, she adopted an even more resentful method of punishment. I think she should be taught how to deal with recalcitrant students rather than get fired. punishment is after all just a fraction of a teacher's job.

    May 15, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  20. Mr. Eister

    The kid may have been one of those trouble makers wh always 'dare' a teacher to do something. But it's no excuse to beat him up in class in front of everyone. She didn't follow the rules of notifying the student of "one more time dude', then principal, teacher, and parent meeting. When I was a kid n goofed off the teacher made us do push ups or sit in back of class being silent, or principals office. I've also seen kids his age disrespect teachers, and see teachers beat up by students. But still even with the video, it's innocent until PROVEN guilty.

    May 15, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  21. Well

    A 30 yr old woman on average is far bigger and stronger than a typical 13 yr old boy. I mean she could have easily killed him. Sure they argue the school isnt perfect, but pales in comparison that this woman is a monster.

    May 15, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  22. Tamara Hubacek

    A teacher has such powerful influence over our children. They can shape our children in so many ways, good and bad. If this woman does not go to jail, I mean hard time, it will send a very bad message, and when she gets out, she should never again be allowed around children. Shame on this peice of garbage, who is only saying sorry because she is on the news.

    If I was that boys' mother, she would never forget my name, because I would make her life very difficult.

    I hope she and every other adult who abuse their power over children rot in jail.

    May 15, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  23. kristine

    i think that what this teacher did was down right cruel. there is absolutely no excuse for her behavior. and her apology was fake and insincere. i have a family member who works with kids that have both disciplinary problems and mental health issues and if a teacher here did anything like that not only would the teacher be fired and banned from working with children, but they would also be sitting in jail. no matter how you look at this is child abuse in the worst form. that young boy didn't deserve to be treated the way he was by someone that's suppose to protect and teach him. i think that his mother should file as any charges allowed on that teacher and make sure she never ever works in a school again.

    May 15, 2010 at 10:41 pm |

    This is crazy, when are these teachers going to get punishment for their actions. My son was invovle in an incident when he was 8 years old he was in the 2nd grade at Briargate elementary in Missouri City,Tx. The teacher held my son and let the whole class spit on him. It was all over the news she resigned fired whatever you want to call it. The emotional scars did not stop when she quit or loss her job. He is now 18 and still has issues with this incident. He contracted H pylori from this incident and many many scars. When are the real teachers going to come forth, not the teachers that just want a paycheck. The teachers that really care. My heart goes out to this young man and his family because i have been there done that. May god give you the wisdom to help your child through this horrible time in his life.

    May 15, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
  25. N

    So the teacher beat up the bully. If your kid was being picked on everyday because of a physical or mental handicap, you'd want to beat the kid up to. This is just another example of how the bully becomes the "victim." He got what he deserved. I'm sure that if someone had videotaped what happened before this fight, you would say the same thing. Shame on you for only picking the parts that sensationalize a piece of the story. Show it in the proper context. It should read, bully gets disciplined by teacher.

    May 16, 2010 at 1:34 am |
  26. Malcolm Eugene

    I think the teacher was not in controle of her actions. Lucky she did not get shot with a .38 these days, and In houston too!!! This nutt is more than bold, she is nutts. And yes she should be terminated and excourted out of the school. on need to worrie if she will find another job.

    May 16, 2010 at 2:19 am |
  27. Panasit

    The boy was not even doing anything physical. What kind of a teacher is she showing that a verbal argument can lead to a physical altercation. I don't want to live in the same state as this human being let alone having her teach any of the children.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:16 am |
  28. Jim

    Lets look at it another way. If the schools don't do more about discipline. They will be paying for lawyers and more to the parents that can't believe their child can do any wrong or can't control their own children or just don't care! It would be cheaper to deal with the issues as they happen, instead of hoping they go away!

    May 16, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
  29. Grady Duke

    Hopefully she learned a great lesson. Even teachers can make mistakes and still learn new skills. Now she will learn & develop new skills to appropriately deal with these situations. She deserves a second chance, not a ruined life.

    May 16, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  30. Mrs. Eileen G. Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    I agree with Marcus Lee. There is absolutely no excuse or apology that would be acceptable, this teacher should be in jail as of right now.

    May 16, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  31. Lindsey

    As a teacher...I will NEVER EVER EVER say that any of this is okay...this teacher deserves nothing more but to be put into prison. There are so many loving teachers out there who need jobs and actually care about children. There's no room for this lady in any classroom or any child's life!

    May 16, 2010 at 9:51 pm |
  32. Michelle Seoud, Rochester NY

    Hello Nancy,
    I am a mother of a 13 year old daughter and as I watch the segment on the beating of a Houston student my skin is crawling. I feel sick to my stomach to see someone with such violent temper and tendencies towards a helpless student walk free. She is a monster, not a teacher. She needs and deserves to be prosecuted, it's unacceptable. If this student had hit her the same way, he would've been arrested immediately, no questions asked. Why are they treating her as if she is above the law? I am appauled and my heart goes out to the boy and his family. This is outrageous and dispicable behavior, shame on us for allowing such things to take place. Thank you!

    May 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  33. C.E.

    I think it is horrible she actually was physical with the student, but this kid should not have been verbally abusing another kid who cannot defend himself. How wrong is it that no one but the teacher said "this is enough" and came to the defense of the other student? Maybe she could have not beaten the kid but the kid should keep his mouth shut and realize what is and is not right.

    May 17, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  34. Ken Collins

    Is she a certified teacher? Since she is an instructor in a charter school she may not be required to be a trained and a certified teacher. This is a common misconception which misleads the viewership. One would not call someone a doctor or an attorney if they did not have the credentials. Please research your facts and reserve the title "teacher" to those deserving licensed professionals and not uncertified instructors. This should apply to all stories referring to credentialed teachers and non-credentialed instructors.

    May 17, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  35. OMG

    She is EXTREMELY sorry it was caught on video!! Criminal charges should be filed or at the very least she should be locked in the classroom with his mother!

    May 17, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  36. Teddi

    Why is this teacher not in jail?

    May 17, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  37. Jon Grey

    Good for her – This is a 16 yr old bully male and shes a woman teacher who is abandoned by the system – anyone watch The Wire Season 4? inner city schools are messed up and the teachers are against the wall – here's an example of a clueless mother as well claiming "My kid isn't a problem kid" – parents don't want to take responsibility – Bravo to the teacher

    May 19, 2010 at 2:36 pm |