Teacher accused of spraying kids in face with water

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- A parent of a Guilford County third grader is upset at a teacher she accuses of using a spray bottle to discipline her child.

Latanya Jackson said the teacher admitted she has been squirting her daughter, Mariana, 9, and other students in the face with the spray bottle for quite some time.

FOX8 is not naming the teacher since no formal charges have been filed. Jackson filed assault charges against the teacher on Feb. 13, but no warrant had been issued as of Tuesday night.

Jackson said she personally confronted the teacher and demanded she stop using a spray bottle on her daughter. Jackson says the teacher sent her an email, saying, "I will refrain from squirting."

The alleged email, a copy of which Jackson gave to FOX8, also gave a reason for the squirting: "As a last resort, it quickly gets attention from the 'hotheads' who continue to yell and fuss even after continuous requests to desist."

"These are third graders," Jackson said. "These are not animals, because that's what's used to discipline dogs and cats when they are not listening."

A Guilford County Schools spokeswoman said the teacher has been disciplined and the investigation is continuing. School officials couldn't verify late Tuesday whether the teacher sent the email.

The spokeswoman said the teacher has been teaching since 1980 and hasn't been demoted or had a complaint until now.

Jackson said she learned about the alleged incident recently when Mariana told her about it.

"She said, 'I was looking in my book bag for my pencil, and I got squirted in the face. And she said, 'It caught me by surprise,'" Jackson said.

Jackson said she doesn't want the teacher fired, but she would like to see the teacher removed from teaching third grade.

"I don’t want to see anybody unemployed or out of work, and that's not to say she's a bad person of character or anything. But her discipline mechanics, even though they have stopped, should be enough to have her removed from that third-grade classroom," Jackson said.

However, Jackson said school officials told her that the teacher was needed at the High Point school and could not be reassigned. She said school officials suggested her daughter move to another school.