A parent barged into a Prince George's County elementary school room Thursday morning and struck her child several times with a belt while a shocked teacher and the child's sixth-grade classmates watched, school officials said yesterday.
The girl was not physically harmed in the incident at Valley View Elementary School in Oxon Hill.
School officials said yesterday the girl's mother entered the classroom, hit the child and was gone before the teacher could intercede. Corporal punishment, either by teachers or parents, is not permitted in Prince George's schools or on school grounds, school officials said.
Brian Porter, spokesman for the schools, said, "We do not encourage our teachers to get into fisticuffs with parents. If the child had been harmed we would have called the police."
He said that the school system "is not planning to press charges against the parent. The kid's fine, if severely embarrassed." He would not release the name of the parent or student.
Porter said the incident occurred after the parent, who did not appear angry, entered the school and asked to speak to her child.
A guidance counselor then took the mother to the class of about 25 sixth graders and left her to talk to the substitute teacher in charge of the class.
"The parent apparently said she had come to punish her daughter and the substitute (asked) her not to do it at which point the mother left the room," Porter said.
A few seconds later, however, the mother returned, this time visibly angry. She walked into the classroom past the teacher and over to the daughter's desk, Porter said.
The mother then said something to her daughter, then took out a belt and hit the child several times on the back. Before the teacher could react, Porter said, the mother turned and left the classroom and the school.
"The whole incident took place in less than five minutes. The mother never looked angry or upset until she returned to the classroom the second time," Porter said.
Officials at the elementary school said yesterday they have never had a similar problem at the school and labeled the mother's visit "unfortunate. It was certainly bad for the other children to see it."