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Middle school under investigation after parents say students were left in heat as punishment

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 7:56 AM EDT
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BROOKLAND, Ark. (KAIT/Gray News) - The Department of Human Services has launched an investigation into students being mistreated at Brookland Middle School amid reports that the students were forced to sit on the pavement in 95-degree temperatures because they were being disruptive in the cafeteria.

After Rebecca Sylvest picked her son up from school Thursday, she said she noticed he was more tired than usual and did not eat anything, which seemed out of the ordinary, KAIT reported.

Her son had been punished before, so when he told her, she did not think anything of it until she heard what had really happened from other parents.

“There’s so many other kinds of punishments they could have done,” Sylvest said. “They could’ve taken them in, had them write sentences anything but having them sit on black asphalt for the whole 30 minutes is wrong.”

She does not know where the punishment came from, but she stressed how unsafe it is for 10- and 11-year-old to be in that kind of heat.

In a statement, Brookland Middle School said the punishment that was given to fifth-graders “was inappropriate and should not have occurred.”

In addition to the DHS investigation, the school said the school district is conducting its own probe “to determine how this incident happened and ensure that it does not occur in the future.”

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