Substitute Teacher Under Investigation After Reports Of “Rough Physical Contact” With A Student

The father of the 8-year-old who said he was grabbed by the neck and forcibly moved wants better communication from his school.

Monday, October 2nd 2023, 8:12 pm

By: Katie Eastman


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A substitute elementary school teacher is under investigation by Tulsa Public Schools Campus Police after a report of physical contact and other inappropriate behavior last Thursday, September 28, at Kendall Whittier Elementary School.

“He’s crazy, he’s funny, he likes to make people laugh,” said Caleb Woods about his 8-year-old son.

When Woods picks his son up from school, there is usually a smile, but last Thursday was different.

"He immediately tells me almost in tears, his voice breaking, that he had a terrible day,” said Woods. “And he tells me, he says a teacher put their hands on me. I said what do you mean by that? He said we had a substitute teacher today. He grabbed me by my neck, he grabbed me by my back, and he forcibly moved me to the front of the line because he wanted me in the front of the line.”

According to a spokesperson with Tulsa Public Schools, administrators at Kendall Whittier Elementary removed that substitute teacher during the day.

But Woods first heard about the removal from his son and then from the school on Thursday evening.

Woods said it came too late.  

“Seeing as he actually placed his hands on a student, a parent should have been notified,” said Woods. "I shouldn’t have had to go to the school, pick my son up, and hear from him that that’s what happened.”

A day later, another message was sent to families that said the teacher was initially removed because of “concerns about an unprofessional tone with students, but administrators later learned of concerns that the adult also made rough physical contact with at least one student.”

Tulsa Public Schools said Campus Police is investigating.

“I hate that it had to happen like this, and I couldn’t be there for him,” said Woods.

A spokesperson with Tulsa Public Schools said the report of physical contact came after the school day, but Woods said his son told a teacher when it happened.

TPS said the substitute who was hired through a third party will not work for the district again.

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