Teacher Rule #0743: Don’t Kick the Children

You would think that certain social contracts, like refraining from knocking over children, would not have to be written down for people. You would think wrong.

If you saw the video out of context, it was horrifying.

If you saw it in context, still horrifying.


The video to which I’m referring is the surveillance footage of an elementary school teacher knocking over a child with her knee.


In Tifton, Georgia, police arrested 71-year-old Amelia Stripling knocking the child, who has special needs, to the ground.

Watch the video here.

The child’s mother, Sarah Patterson, told WALB News 10 that Stripling thrust her knee into the child’s back, causing him to fall forward.

Stripling turned herself in after learning that there was a warrant out for her arrest. And, according to Tift County Schools spokeswoman Stacey Beckham, she resigned the next day.

(Damn it. It would’ve been great to actually get to fire her.)

Upon resignation Stripling said an eyewitness said it appeared that she knocked the poor boy over intentionally. This is probably because that’s exactly what it looks like.


I’ve seen Stripling’s exact move in virtually every soccer game I’ve ever played or  watched.


Police charged Stripling with cruelty toward a child. The situation is still under investigation. Good thing, too, because I certainly have some unanswered questions.

The first question is, quite obviously, why???

Why was it so important for either Stripling, the child, or both of them, to get into that room? So important that she had to punt him in?

I wish the footage had sound. But from the look of it, I don’t think there was so much as an “Are you okay?” from this woman who, by the way, had been teaching in that system for over 20 years.


As mentioned before, the boy has special needs.

I am not an expert on the differences between special education and regular education, but I am fairly positive that special education doesn’t require the educator to put a knee in the students’ backs.

“Hey, watch it! I’m walkin’ here!,” while still incredibly inappropriate, would have honestly been better.

Thankfully, though, the child isn’t hurt. (I suppose a swift tibia jab from someone over 70 wouldn’t do too much harm.)


Georgia is a heck of a place. After a full childhood of getting roughhoused by elderly teachers, kids can bring guns to college. We’ll see how that system works out.


Too real?


Today’s take-away is relatively simple:

Don’t kick children.

And remember,

we’re all human.




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