A South Florida family is livid over what they say a teacher did that led to their first grader’s hands looking blistered.
The family alleges the public school teacher had the child crawling on the pavement in the scorching Florida heat a few days ago and ignored his call for help when he was in pain.
“My teacher told me to walk like a bear crawl because it was like a relay race," said the 7-year-old first-grader, whose mother wanted to conceal his identity.
On Wednesday, the mother's son wasn’t bashful in exclusively telling NBC 6 what he says happened at his South Florida school. The child said the teacher directed him and other students to do bear crawls on the hot pavement outside.
“I was walking like a bear fast and then I started with ... then I felt my hands getting burned so I stopped,” he said.
His mother said her child wasn’t able to do much over the past Memorial Day weekend.
“He’s not having any fun,” she said.
The mother found out about the injuries when his grandmother picked her son up from school.
“She was visibly shaken. She was crying hysterically,” the mother told NBC 6. “ I saw the burns and the blisters."
It was about 90 degrees at the time the students were outside last Friday. In addition to the images, the family provided a document showing that the next day, the 7-year-old was at a South Florida urgent care clinic where the nurse indicated he had a burn on his left palm and a burn on his right palm.
The family was directed to put a medicated cream on the burns when the bandages on his hands were changed or at least twice a day.
The child said he told the teacher his hands were burning.
"What happened is she said, 'You will be fine,' and then she didn’t take me to the nurse. We went back to the classroom," he said.
The mother and the family’s attorney, Erian White, said the child asking for help only to be ignored is what angers them most.
"A child is coming to you saying they are in pain — or look, even if it was just red — and I mean if you have seen the pictures ... take him to a nurse," the mother said. "It’s disheartening he can’t rely on an adult to do the right thing by him."
"He goes to his teacher like he should and says I’m hurt and it burns, and her response is, you’ll be all right," White said. "I think that’s where it goes from regular negligence to how can you do this.”
White said what’s also disturbing is that if the situation were reversed and a parent sent their son to school with burns like that, the teacher should immediately notify the staff and an investigation be launched as required by state law. But they say no one notified them the entire afternoon Friday he was injured.
"It was very visible that he was injured. I find it very hard to believe that anyone would see that and not think that he needed treatment," White said.
"Not having any notice about this situation is just — I am going to be frank. It’s appalling," the mother said.
White informed the school district where the school is located that they might be sued. That school board sent NBC 6 a statement saying that they do not comment on potential, pending or ongoing litigation.
The child hasn’t been back to school since and may not return as there’s only a week to go. His mom says she just doesn’t feel comfortable sending him there now.