District, Teacher Sued for Allegedly Slamming Door so Hard on Student’s Hand That It Severed Fingertips

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
March 22, 2019USshare
District, Teacher Sued for Allegedly Slamming Door so Hard on Student’s Hand That It Severed Fingertips
A classroom door in a file photo. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A Maryland teacher slammed a door against a student’s hands, severing the female student’s fingers, the girl’s family said in a lawsuit against the Anne Arundel County Board of Education.

The teacher was named as Steven Akers.

The girl was not named but her father, Javier Benitez, filed the lawsuit against the board last year. New court filings this month provided details on the extent of the girl’s injuries.

Benitez argued that they will affect her for the rest of her life. The family is seeking $75,000.

“She was in the process of trying to teach herself how to play the piano but has had to discontinue that pursuit,” wrote attorney Stephen Campen, who is representing the family in the lawsuit, reported the Capital Gazette.

The school district did not dispute that the incident happened or that the girl required surgery.

Instead, it quoted the physician who treated her as saying the surgery and recovery were “unremarkable.” It also claimed that her medical costs were only $1,459.

A trial is slated to start in Annapolis on June 18.

Akers was originally named in the lawsuit but was removed in the middle of 2018, several months after he resigned. The incident took place on Oct. 9, 2017.

According to the lawsuit, the student got up from her seat to ask Akers a question in French class. She placed her left hand on the door jam of the door that served as the entrance and exit from class.

Akers, apparently trying to get the attention of the class, “slammed the door directly on (the student’s) fingers, namely her pointer, middle and ring fingers, severing the tips of all three fingers.”

The girl was rushed to Union Memorial Hospital via helicopter.

The family’s attorney said that she’s permanently disfigured even after surgery. She also has discomfort in the hand when trying to type or write and has lost feeling in two of her fingers.

Senior Assistant County Attorney Philip Culpepper, who is representing the school board, said that the family was wrong in its characterization of what happened and that the girl was actually leaning to “look out of a window next to the door” when Akers shut the door.

Teacher Suspended After Telling Students to Talk to Parents

A Michigan teacher was reportedly suspended after encouraging her students to speak to their parents about how cold the school’s classrooms were.

Students complained to Taylor High School teacher Mary Logan about the room’s low temperature, and she urged them to tell their parents about the issue, encouraging them to call the Taylor Board of Education offices if they were cold.

“It’s 58 degrees in here,” said a note that she wrote for her students, according to the News-Herald. “No heat. Call your parents. Tell them to call the board office … If you are cold.”

For the move, Logan was suspended for three days by the district. She was later reinstated.

Teachers will always advocate for their students and they shouldn't be punished for doing so. What parent would want their child sitting in a classroom too cold to learn in?

Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association 发布于 2019年3月8日周五

Linda Moore, president of the Taylor teachers’ union, called the suspension “ridiculous,” reported the News-Herald.

“Our position is that, if (the school district) didn’t like it, they should have given out a statement of what they would like teachers to tell students and parents, then give them a script to read,” she added.

The suspension “violates” Logan’s “freedom of speech and keeps us from doing our job,” she said, Yahoo News reported.

Ben Williams, superintendent of the Taylor School District, said the building construction is the issue.

“What evidently happened—and this predates me by 40 years—is that the district chose to implement an open concept design,” he told the News-Herald. “So none of the classrooms had walls that went all the way up to the ceiling. For whatever reason, the architects at the time thought it’d be a good idea to build the school with this open design.”

He said there are “hot and cold” boxes in the school.

The Epoch Times reporter Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

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