DECLO, Idaho (CBS Seattle) — A teacher is under investigation after being accused of allowing some of her fourth-grade students to paint the faces of their classmates as a form of punishment.

The painting was reportedly reserved for students who failed to meet their reading goals. Fake mustaches, goatees and names were written on the faces of those who were determined to be the slowest readers, according to KBOI-TV.

“Not only was my son punished with bullying but the other students were rewarded with bullying,” the parent of a child whose face was drawn on told the station. “They are being taught that bullying is OK and that there’s nothing wrong with this.”

Other parents in Cassia County School District shared the parent’s ire with the situation.

Rather than condemn the action, however, the district allegedly confirmed that students are given the choice of missing out on recess or having their face drawn on as a means of punishment for falling short of reading goals.

The principal told KBOI that he knew about the drawings, and the superintendent reportedly added that the students are given a choice in the situation.

“The class had discussed their accelerated reading goals and tried to put together incentives,” superintendent Gaylen Smyer was told the station. “One of the incentives is that those who met their goal would be able to paint the face of those who didn’t meet their goal.”

Some parents also voiced their support of the teacher, and the practice.

“I’m one of many parents who stand by the teacher’s methods and what she does,” local mother Carla Christensen said. “We think she’s a wonderful teacher and we want to see her stay at Declo for many years to come.”

KBOI learned that the class that has sparked an investigation into the incentive program had 24 students in it. Of those, nine failed to reach the reading goals, six of whom opted to have their faces painted.

The remaining three reported chose to skip recess instead.


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