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Teacher Encourages Entire Class to 'Bully' 6-Year-Old & She's Paying the Price

Posted by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 9:23 AM
  • 81 Replies

Teacher Encourages Entire Class to 'Bully' 6-Year-Old & She's Paying the Price

by Suzanne Murray

cynthia ambroseCynthia AmbroseLast May, in San Antonio, Texas, 6-year-old Aiden Neely hit a classmate and was "showing signs of being a bully" in Barbara Ramirez's kindergarten class. Ramirez was exasperated and not sure what to do so she sought advice from fellow teacher, Cynthia Ambrose, 44. Her recommendation: Let the other kids hit him so he knows how it feels to be bullied. Ambrose and the other teacher lined up the 24 kindergartners in her Salinas Elementary School classroom then told them to hit Neely.

According to Ramirez, Ambrose encouraged the kindergartners to hit Neely as hard as they could. The children obeyed -- even those who didn't want to, because they were afraid of getting in trouble.

Ramirez said Ambrose told the class to stop after the seventh student hit Neely very hard with an open hand to the back and made him cry.

This sounds like a perfectly acceptable way to deal with a 6-year-old bully right?


The jury didn't think so either.

On Thursday, a jury convicted Cynthia Ambrose of "official oppression" (a felony in Texas that amounts to a public servant who misuses their position) and she faces up to 1 year in jail. (She was fired from her job last year.) It took the jury only 45 minutes to reach a guilty verdict.

The prosecutor in the case said:

This is not a spanking case. It is so far outside the bounds of classroom discipline to where it becomes criminal.

It turns out this was not an isolated incident -- two weeks after the hitting incident, Ramirez says she saw Ambrose tell another student to pinch a bully for pinching him. That's when Ramirez reported both incidents to the school principal Jeffrey Large.

Large said:

I've never heard of anything like this in my 30 years. I've heard of teachers using excessive force, but never putting students against other students.

Ramirez was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony, yet not everyone is convinced of her innocence. Ambrose's attorney called Ramirez a "pathological liar" and said she was smiling throughout the hitting incident and was taunting poor Aiden Neely.

Ambrose, who worked at the school for 11 years and says she loved kids, described the incident as "out of her control," saying the students surrounded Aiden on their own and one, a girl, slapped him on his back.

As for Aiden, now 7, he said on the stand that he remembers getting hit by his classmates and telling his brothers, who didn't believe him.

Amy Neely, Aiden's mom, wasn't informed of the incident until the principal called her weeks later.

The teacher told him not to tell us. My stomach was in knots. It was horrible. Twenty-four of those kids hit him and he said that most of them hit him twice.

Ambrose's sentencing is scheduled for the end of July.

Here is an interview with Ambrose from last year

Does watching the video make you feel any sympathy for Ambrose?

Do you think 1 year in jail is adequate punishment for this teacher? Should she get more or less? Do you think Ramirez deserved to be punished too?

by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 9:23 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 9:30 AM
1 mom liked this

I think a year in jail and losing her job is a slap on the wrist for what she did, forcing children to hit each other, that's just sick and it's not going to end bullying. I don't have the answer to end bullying but that probably teaches them to gang up on each other even more!

by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 9:33 AM

I am sickened honestly.  I don't understand why someone would think "oh yeah, this is a good idea".  Again, can't fix stupid.

by Platinum Member on Jun. 24, 2013 at 9:38 AM
1 mom liked this

Yes.  THey were both responsible for this horrific incident.

by Misha Lovegood<3 on Jun. 24, 2013 at 9:51 AM
1 mom liked this
Turn the victims into the bullies!!!makes total sense!! Lol. I do have to wonder if Aiden stopped hitting though. There is a difference than hit him back and everyone line up and smack him.
by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 9:52 AM
I believe on year in jail and losing her job is a slap on the wrist. Amd Ramirez should have been punished as well, if you've got any brains then you will know that bullying a kid for bullying is not going to stop the cycle! It's just going to make it worse!

Only once we surrender to the Mystery can it reveal itself to us!!!

by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 9:54 AM
2 moms liked this

They both need to be punished and never teach again! They are an embarrassment to the profession. 

by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 10:03 AM
I don't agree with what she did...

But it falls under the same concept of moms here who say they bite their kids back. Or hit their kids back. --to show them how it feels.

Again I dont agree with it.
But she isn't the only one with that mentality.
by ~Tammie~ on Jun. 24, 2013 at 10:34 AM
1 mom liked this

We as parents trust the teachers to know what the right thing to do is. She breached that trust and doesnt deserve any sympathy. 

Photo: -Randi.

by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 10:49 AM

The other teacher sat there and watched with a freaking smile on her face and got immunity? are you crazy that was her student that she lined up to be harmed! her responsibility. I hope she isnt teaching anymore, if i were this childs mother it would take everything i had not to attack her, and i am not a violent person or aggressive in any way. This makes me sick to my stomach a year isnt enough but i feel like they both should be serving this time. My daughters 6 i couldnt imagine her being in this situation.

by Mrs. Tennant on Jun. 24, 2013 at 10:59 AM

 That's terrible : (

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