HOUSTON — The controversial punishment of a first-grader at Westwood Elementary ended with a teacher reprimanded and a family demanding answers.
The girl's family doesn't want to be identified, but they agreed to share their story.
The mother of the first-grader said her daughter drew a picture on her desk and the girl's teacher punished her.
In an email to the mother, the teacher detailed the punishment.
"She lost her recess, she went to the principal's office and then she had to wash the desk and that was it," the mother said. "I was never told that her desk was removed."
The day after the drawing incident, the little girl showed up to find her desk gone. The girl was reportedly told that she wouldn't get her desk back until second grade.
She sat on the floor for more than four weeks until she finally told her parents.
"I asked her, 'Why did you not tell me?' and she said, 'I was too scared to tell you, Mama,'" the mother said. "She thought what she had done was so bad she didn't deserve to have a desk."
Spring Branch ISD investigated and said the teacher was reprimanded for her classroom management.
They also released a statement that read:
"The family has been offered multiple opportunities to transfer their child, either to another teacher within the school or to any elementary school in the district where enrollment is not capped."
The mother withdrew her daughter and picked another school for the new year, but the girl's little brother can't go with her because his grade is capped.
The whole experience has left the girl's mom feeling helpless.
"I mean it's like a primal instinct that you feel to protect your child," she said. "The fact that I sent her there every day not knowing that that's what she was going into because nobody made me aware, it's horrible."
The mom has hired an attorney and filed a grievance with Spring Branch ISD. She says her daughter has been traumatized by the punishment and wants to make sure this doesn't happen to any other child.