FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A Fort Wayne mother has sued her daughter’s teacher, Fort Wayne Community Schools and the state schools chief on belief the teacher spanked the first-grader in November.
Steffanie Haney filed the suit Thursday in Allen Superior Court. It claims that Jacalyn Butler, a teacher at Forest Park Elementary School, spanked Haney’s then-6-year-old daughter. The suit also names as defendants Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz and Fort Wayne Community Schools.
According to the suit, Butler “violently struck” the girl on her buttocks for an unknown reason. The girl “suffered severe pain, mental and emotional distress, physical injury, and humiliation as a result of the violence,” the suit said.
The suit claims that during a parent-school conference, Butler admitted to striking the girl.
Butler was placed on unpaid suspension Nov. 25. She was reportedly reinstated as a full-time teacher as of Nov. 30, according to the suit.
Haney told NewsChannel 15 in November that her daughter was spanked for dropping an eraser and retrieving it. In a Fort Wayne police report, her daughter said that Butler “whooped her” at school in front of another teacher “and made her cry because it hurt.”
Haney said that during her conference with Butler at the school, she said she asked Butler to explain herself.
“I said, ‘No. Did you hit her, yes or no?’ And she said, ‘Yes, I did,’ and I had to get up and leave out of the room because I couldn’t be around her,” Haney said in November.
Haney reportedly pulled her daughter out of Forest Park after the incident, the lawsuit said.
Fort Wayne Community Schools officials do not comment on pending litigation as a policy.