A Pennsylvania mom is suing her daughter’s school district, claiming a teacher and two colleagues made fun of the child on a voicemail after they forgot to hang up the phone.
Beth Suhon claims the three adults employed by McGuffey School District forgot to disconnect a phone call to her and proceeded to make fun of the then-fifth grader on the voicemail recording for several minutes, saying among other insults that “her teeth are crooked.” When one said the girl has “no strengths,” another allegedly quickly suggested, “She could coal mine. She could be a good coal miner.”
“It was very difficult for me to tell my child, who has been bullied by her peers for years, that she was now being bullied by her teachers,” Suhon said.
According to the concerned mom, her daughter’s math teacher was the one who called and then went on to belittle the child, who has been diagnosed with Turner syndrome and struggles with severe anxiety, with two other colleagues.
“The mockery, laughter and derision voiced by the three educators in the voicemail recording is unconscionable,” a judge reviewing the case wrote. “[I]t is nearly unfathomable, and frankly heartbreaking, to gauge that the speakers on that recording are educators working with 10-year-old children, and are particularly discussing some of those children who clearly have significant disabilities.”
Suhon filed the lawsuit last week against McGuffey Schools, which also alleges that the school district pulled her daughter out of her special education plan without her or the girl’s father’s knowledge or consent prior to the voicemail incident. The school district has not yet responded.