District investigates teacher after students do 'bear crawls,' suffer injuries

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by Dillon Collier / KENS 5

khou.com

Posted on October 3, 2013 at 8:37 PM

KERR COUNTY, Texas -- An athletics teacher at Center Point Independent School District is the focus of an internal and criminal investigation after at-least six students claimed she made them do 'bear crawls' and 'crab crawls' on an asphalt road.

Students involved in the incident told the I-Team they were interviewed by a detective with the Kerr County Sheriff's Office Thursday on campus.

Several 7th and 8th grade students sustained blisters and cuts on their hands during the incident on Monday afternoon, according to parents.

The road is located across the street from Center Point ISD, a small district with just over 600 students.

"This is school. They need an education. These teachers are here to teach our children, not to torture them," parent Shaunda Parr said

Several students told the KENS 5 I-Team they were complaining to the teacher -- saying the asphalt was hurting their hands -- only to be told to move faster.

KENS 5 spoke with Center Point ISD Superintendent Cody Newcomb on the phone Tuesday.

Newcomb would only confirm that the district was aware of the incident, before providing the following written statement:

"On Monday during Physical Education/ off season class the students were asked to do Bear Crawls up and down a paved surface, causing injury or irritation to some of the student’s hands. This type of activity is not consistent with policy or the philosophy of Center Point ISD. We are currently investigating this issue and appropriate action will be taken. We have reached out to parents and students and invite them to contact us with any questions or concerns."

Parents explained to the I-Team that the district has two gymnasiums and access to grass fields, making the teacher's decision to have the students exercise on asphalt even more perplexing.

"I hope she gets fired. I know that sounds really mean, but she was really mean to us," 7th grader Shavawn Justice said.

Justice's father, John Finster, said he relied on his Army training to drain and treat blisters on the hands of several students.

"They're across the whole palm of their hand. They're open, they were bleeding. It's nothing you can look at and go, 'oh that's just a little blister.'" Finster said.

Students said the athletics teacher has not taught the athletics class since the incident happened.

The district did not say if the teacher was placed on leave or simply absent.

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