School District of Philadelphia
The School District of Philadelphia Building. Photo: Wikimedia

Several first grade students of Sullivan Elementary School in Wissinoming have come forward to school officials after being hit by their substitute teacher. Six year old Kailyn Wildonger brought light to what was happening to her and five other students in their classroom on April 6.

 

 

 

 

 

Kailyn Wildonger says that she was struck by the Philadelphia substitute teacher after she defended another boy the teacher was hitting for talking out of turn. Speaking up, the first grader told the substitute that “teachers aren’t supposed to hit kids. You’re not his mom or dad, so stop hitting him.” Wildonger later told school officials that is when the substitute turned and hit her and twisted her wrist.

 

Wildonger eventually pretended to grab a tissue by the door making a run for it to the school office where she told the staff their substitute was hitting them.

 

The principal and vice principal of Sullivan Elementary School immediately removed the Philadelphia substitute teacher from the classroom.

Substitute teachers in Philadelphia are employed through a staffing agency, Kelly Services. The incident is now under investigation with the staffing agency. Due to the ongoing investigation, the staffing agency has not released the teacher’s name.

“Kelly Educational Staffing is concerned when a report of inappropriate behavior is received, and we take these matters very seriously,” Jane Stehney, a spokesperson for Kelly Services, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the substitute has been banned from teaching in the Philadelphia Public School District. Following the Friday morning incident, Kailyn Wildonger complained of soreness to her father, who brought her to the emergency room where she had her wrist checked out. The six-year old was reportedly cleared of any broken bones.

“Our students’ safety is our top priority,” said Megan Lello, the Senior Communications Officer for the School District of Philadelphia. “This type of behavior will not be tolerated in any of our schools or by anyone who works in our schools, whether they are a regular employee or substitute teacher.”

Following the misconduct, Kailyn Wildonger’s father Alan Wildonger has since filed a private criminal complaint at the local police department.

It is unclear if Alan Wildonger or other parents plan to file a law suit.