Boy, 10, punished for saying ‘yes ma’am’ to teacher, parents say

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The parents of a 10-year-old boy claim their son was punished for being polite to his teacher.

“I asked him what happened. He said he got in trouble for saying ‘yes ma’am’,” explained Teretha Wilson, the boy’s mother.

The boy, named Tamarion, told his mom he had to write the word “ma’am” on a sheet of paper four times per line on both sides as punishment for saying “yes ma’am” to his teacher despite her instruction not to. As part of his punishment, Tamarion had to have the paper signed by a parent.

“He had a look on his face of disappointment, shame,” his father, McArthur Bryant, told WTVD-TV.

The parents say they teacher their children to say “ma’am” and “sir” when talking to elders. They say their son was just doing what he’s been taught.

“At the end of the day as a father, to feel kind of responsible for that…knowing that I have been raising him and doing the best that I can, it’s not acceptable,” said Bryant.

Wilson says she signed the punishment and sent it back with a second sheet of paper. On that second sheet, she included the definition of the word “ma’am.”

The school moved the boy to a new classroom at the parents’ request.

An official with the school issued a shot statement to WTVD-TV reading:

This is a personnel matter which has been handled appropriately by the K-7 principal.

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