Fourth Grade Indian Student Beaten and Tortured By Teacher
Student Beaten And Tortured Because He Had American Indian Heritage
A fourth grade student attending a rural Oklahoma school could not get out of bed one morning to go to school. His mother not knowing what was wrong with her son was concerned. She asked if he was sick and the child replied, “I don't want to go to school”.
The boy's mother became concerned after hearing this from her son who always loved going to school and being around all his friends. The mother told her son he did not have to go to school if he did not feel like going that day. The young boy replied, “I don't ever want to go back to school”.
At this time the boy's mother asks her son to tell her what was going on at school. He said he did not want to get into any more trouble. The boy's mother assured her son that he would in no way be in trouble no matter what the problem was. She told her son she would take care of the problem no matter what it was and make it go away.
The boy then told his mother he was in a lot of pain, and could not move without hurting real bad. He told her his teacher had whipped him the day before and it really hurt bad. The mother pulled back the covers and saw black and blue strap marks on her son from the stomach down.
In shock, the mother asked “how did this happen to you”? The boy said his teacher whipped him every week during the school year because the teacher did not like me because I had Indian blood and said I should not be allowed in his school. He said I should be in an Indian school; I did not deserve to be in his classroom because I had Indian heritage.
After hearing her son had been whipped she slowly rolled her son over to see he was black and blue all over from his back down to his ankles. At that time the mother cried out to the boy's dad to come to their son's room now.
For most of the school year the teacher that had a racist problem with the boy's Indian mix blood heritage had mentally and physically tortured him in his class. It happened each week in the teacher’s office. The teacher would verbally put the student down over the fact that he had Indian blood heritage and should not be in his class. The teacher told the boy he would let him stay only if he knew to keep his mouth shut about his Indian heritage and his punishment.
Every week on Friday after a class test; the boy was told by his teacher that he failed the test. That meant he got a whipping. The young boy was made to bend over and hold on to his ankles facing a wall, after each lick from the teacher’s paddle or belt the boy would have to get back up after being knocked over into the wall for the remaining nine licks.
It did not stop there, the teacher would from time to time make the boy leave his classroom. The teacher would lock the boy up in the school’s car with the windows up. The teacher told him not to get out of the car till he let him out, the teacher told the boy he did not want to see him in his class room on those days.
When the brutality committed against this young schoolboy came to light, it did not go any further than the school officials. The only official action taken against the school teacher was his being terminated from his teaching position.
The boy's parents thought it best their son not know or speak of his Indian heritage in hopes it would not become a problem for him at school, they never thought a teacher would be so cruel and racist to treat their son in such a manner. It was not a good idea in those days to go around claiming Indian heritage, state laws were and still are on record today that can be used against Indians.
It's hard to believe that in our nations schools today that this kind of child abuse could be going on. The vast majority of teachers are supportive of their students and look out for their safety and welfare at school. It's not acceptable for a teacher to bring their personal problems in to the classroom and use corporal punishment as a tool to abuse our children.
Report: Indian Children were forced to sit in plywood cubicles about two feet wide and about two feet long for days at a time for punishment by school teachers. Some were not allowed to use the bathroom when needed!
No matter what side of this issue you’re on, schools use of corporal punishment if allowed should be supervised to the fullest to include the student's parents. A lot of state governments do not support corporal punishment in schools, but they make it a point to leave the door open for school districts to administer corporal punishment to students.
With the understanding that some teachers in our nations school system today have alcohol and drug addiction problems, what parent in their right mind would not be calling for the end of school sponsored corporal punishment?
Who was the fourth grade school boy in this report and what became of him? That fourth grade school boy was Me.
Mike Graham, Citizen Oklahoma Cherokee Nation: Founder United Native America
"NATIONAL COALITION TO ABOLISH CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN SCHOOLS"
Mike Graham is a citizen of the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation, a retired service connected disabled Army veteran. Founded United Native America in 1993 to form a national group to take action on American Indian issues. The groups main issue is to bring about a federal national holiday for Native Americans. United Native America's motto is, "Standing up for America and the American Indian community."
Graham has been a guest speaker on national and international radio talk shows to include television programs concerning Indian community issues, his reports on Indian issues have been published in newspapers all over America. He has traveled across the country discussing issues with Indian nation leaders, he has presented Indian issues at college's and high schools.