By Napoleon F. Kingcade
It’s means a whole lot to any parent that her child is protected everyday inside a classroom.
Unfortunately, for kindergartener Quadree Martinez, he was grabbed so hard around his neck that he sustained a deep scratch, breaking his skin and causing him to bleed.
That was his punishment for walking too slow - by his teacher.
“It was a deep scratch into his neck where you could see the white meat of his skin,” described his mother, Mercedes Montanez. “You could see where the scratch started from the beginning of his neck and it ended almost behind his ear. There was blood on his shirt and around his collar.”
To make matters worst, Ms. Montanez said her son told her he was forced to sit on the floor for the rest of the school day and the school’s nurse was never notified that the 6-year boy needed medical care.
This March 3rd incident occurred inside the kindergarten class at the Robert Locke Elementary School, located at 48th and Fairmount Avenue.
“When I asked the teacher what happened to my son’s neck, it seemed like she couldn’t tell me what happened,” related the mother. “It seemed like she couldn’t speak. It seemed like she couldn’t get it out. It was like she couldn’t talk,” said Quadree’s mother. “And then I asked her ‘why did you do that to my son’s neck ?’ She then spluttered out ‘I know....I know....’ And then I told her ‘You better never put your hands on my son’s neck again!
“The teacher then said to me ‘I won’t....I won’t.... and I understand.’” Quadree’s mother said another school employee was standing near the two of them when the teacher made her confession about leaving an injury on her son’s neck. According to the mother, despite the teacher’s confession, there was never an apology made or a real explanation given about why the teacher did it.
“At this time, we can not comment about this case because it’s a personnel matter,” said School District Communications Director Fernando Ginard. “Yes, we have conducted our investigation, but it’s a personnel matter and it will not be made to the public.
“We made our investigation back in March, but we do not share personnel matters with the public. This is not public information. At this time, we can not comment on personnel matters.”
However, teacher still remains at Robert Locke Elementary and Quadree has since transferred to a different school. His mother has obtained a lawyer and she plans to file a lawsuit against the Philadelphia School District
Ms Montanez did take her son to the hospital where she said he was given anti-biotics and other medication for his wounds. She showed this reporter a list of his medications that included Neomycin, Bacitracin and Polymyxin ointment that was applied to his neck by his mother. His mother was instructed to apply the medically prescribed ointment twice a day for a couple of weeks.
Today, his neck seemed to be clear up, but the memory of his painful ordeal with his kindergarten teacher still haunts him today.
“My son told me the teacher got mad at him because he was walking slowly back to his chair after he returned from the bathroom,” said Quadree’s mother. “ He said the teacher came behind him and grabbed his neck and she started digging her nails into his neck. After she did this to him, he said the teacher made him sit on the floor and she wouldn’t allow him to go out for lunch. He stayed in that classroom all day (where he ate his lunch). She then told him not to tell his mom about what happen in the classroom.”
She describes her son as a happy and well-mannered child who made the Honor Roll just two weeks before the disturbing incident.