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Texas Middle Schoolers Suffer Severe Burns On Their Hands Due To Gym Teacher's Punishment

Texas Middle Schoolers Suffer Severe Burns On Their Hands Due To Gym Teacher's Punishment
FOX 26 Houston/YouTube

Any parent will tell you that sometimes their kids really mess up.

But generally, we can agree most of those mistakes can be flipped into teachable moments, so the mistake isn't repeated.

When a group of five students hid behind the bleachers to get out of running on the track during gym class, it may have made sense for the physical education (P.E.) teacher at Anthony Aguirre Junior High in Channelview, Texas to reprimand the students for essentially skipping class.

But rather than sending the students to the principal's office or docking their points in the class for the day, the teacher came up with a different plan to get the students back out on the track.

The teacher proceeded to instruct the students to complete "bear crawls" around the track, which involves crawling on hands and feet with raised knees, which generally puts a lot of the body weight and pressure on the hands.

It was over 90 degrees in Texas on an outdoor track that absorbs heat. All five students came away from the class with burns on their hands, some with second-degree burns and blisters.

You can see more about the incident in the video below:

A mother of one of the involved students, Wendy Alvarez, spoke out about the incident.

"My son, he has nose bleeds and things, so he didn’t want to run, because it was too hot. Him and four other kids, they went, and they were hiding behind the bleachers."
"The coach found them and I guess punished them by making them do bear crawls."
"Now his hands are burnt. He has second-degree burns. I took him to the ER yesterday. He said my hands feel like they’re on fire. He had a fever last night."

Alvarez also shared she spoke to the mother of another involved student, who sent her pictures of her son's hands, which also had blisters on them.

Since the incident, the school board has launched an investigation over the teacher's actions. They also apologized to Alvarez and stated this would not happen again.

The school released this statement:

"Channelview ISD administrators are aware of an incident that occurred at Anthony Aguirre Junior High on Monday, May 9 where a teacher allegedly disciplined four students causing non-life-threatening heat-related injuries due to the conditions outside."
"This incident is currently under investigation to ensure all students have a safe learning environment. The teacher has been removed from the classroom and placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation."
"Channelview ISD does not condone aversive discipline techniques that may cause physical pain to a student in any way. We take these situations very seriously as the safety of our students is always our top priority."

But Wendy Alvarez didn't believe that was enough.

"And they said we promise this is not going to happen again, but I’m not really happy with that answer. I think he should get fired, honestly. That’s how I feel. I don’t think somebody like that should be working with kids."
"To me, that’s torture. And she (another mother) sent me pictures of her son too. He also has blisters on both hands."
"I’m just heartbroken for my son, you know."

Twitter was furious on the students' behalf.

Assuming Alvarez's son was worried about having a nosebleed due to the high temperatures, that likely should have been enough to excuse him from the activities on the track.

At the very least, when the teacher discovered the students, the internet agreed the teacher could have used more traditional means of discipline for the students, like a point deduction for not completing the activity.

The investigation is ongoing while the teacher's behavioral history and the students' injuries are evaluated.