A 10-year-old from Tarboro, North Carolina was punished during school for saying “yes, ma’am” to his teacher. According to Teretha Wilson and McArthur Bryant, their son Tamarion Wilson came home from North East Carolina Preparatory School disappointed. The fifth grader pulled out a sheet of paper from his school bag, covered with the handwritten word “ma’am.” According to their son, the teacher asked the student not to call her “ma’am”, and when he did, she a made the student write the word four times on both sides of a paper as punishment.
The student was instructed to take the paper home and have it signed by his parents. The teacher also allegedly said is she had something, she would throw it at him. The parents called the teacher’s action inappropriate, explaining their son was raised to refer to his elders as “sir” and “ma’am”, as a sign of respect. When Wilson returned the signed sheet, his mother also included another piece of paper where Tamarion wrote the definition of the word. Many online users are upset about the situation, saying the child was only doing what he believed was right.
Tamarion was hospitalized last month for a seizure related activity, which included memory loss and hallucinations, something the teacher as unaware of. The parents met with the principle and teacher to discuss the incident, requesting their son be moved to a different classroom. According to the school, the teacher in question has several years of experience. Through a statement, the school stated the incident was a personnel matter and has been handled appropriately but the K-7 principal.