I in no way shape or form condone abuse, institutionalized or otherwise. You can slap on a fancy name on it like corporal punishment, but abuse is abuse. The older generation often claims that it promotes discipline, but it’s wrong on every single level. We’re supposed to protect our children and educate them into fine adults. So naturally you would hope that your children would be safe from harm at school.
El Paso Elementary School Teacher Olga S. Najera, 52, was taken into custody after allegedly injuring a five-year-old student. Apparently, Najera was already put on administrative leave prior to the altercation due to a similar incident that occurred in the Socorro Independent School District.
“She is a wonderful teacher who is very well-liked by parents and loved by her students,” Najera’s lawyer Mary Stillinger told the El Paso Times. “Before this first arrest, she never had any issues for many years. I think she is completely innocent of this.”
Look, you can be a saint for 52 years of your life and be considered innocent. But if you suddenly raise a hand to a child, especially if you’re a teacher, then you can’t claim to be “completely innocent of this”. No amount of good deeds in the past should excuse or condone abusive behavior.
It gets worse. This wasn’t even her first incident related to injuring children.
Further investigations on the matter found that Najera struck a student with her hand sometime between July 31 and August 28, according to police. Najera was teaching at Helen Ball at the time of the incident and was placed into the El Paso County Jail on $15,000 bail.
Najera’s lawyer believes that officials are blowing the situation out of proportion due to an earlier allegation last year while the teacher worked at Myrtle Cooper Elementary School. There was a similar incident where Najera was accused of harming her students.
According to Daily Mail “She is accused of pinching a boy’s arm and scratching his hands, according to the indictment. Najera was said to have also slapped a girl in the face, stepped on the girl’s foot and kicked her.”
She was arrested at Helen Ball Elementary on August 9 on two counts of injury to a student before being released on bail.
“When dealing with very young children you have to be sure what the facts are because we all know very young children do not always describe things as clearly as adults,” Stillinger said. “When there is no physical evidence, I think the Police Department is making a very serious mistake by moving so quickly on this.”
Children aren’t as naive as you may think, Stillinger. In fact, I think young children are more in tune with abuse than some adults are. When a child cries for help or says that they got injured, we shouldn’t disregard it just because they’re young. We should take it even more seriously and do a thorough investigation.
The court case is expected to go to trial sometime in April 2018.