Kids’ Punished With Heavy Weights: Report

First graders were forced to hold 10-pound weights, grandmother said.

By LeAnne Gendreau
|  Friday, May 20, 2011  |  Updated 3:18 PM EDT
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Kids’ Punished With Heavy Weights: Report

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A gym teacher forced kids to lift weights, report says.

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When Michelle Gary’s 6-year-old and 8-year-old grandsons misbehaved in class at Clinton Avenue School in New Haven, their punishment was not to go to the principal’s office.

They were sent to the gym teacher and told to lie on their backs and hold up heavy weights for several minutes, she told the New Haven Register

Gary’s grandson, Hussain “Ricky” Redmond, 6, complained that his arms hurt because he was made to left and hold heavy weights, the Register reports.

She questioned told until investigators from the state Department of Families and Children called, following up on other complaints

At first, Gary questioned the story that Ricky and her other grandson, Sheldon Nashawn Edwards, 8, told until investigators from the state Department of Families and Children called, following up on other complaints.

Child-welfare investigators told Gary that up to seven first graders from the class were sent to the gym teacher for bad behavior, including her two grandchildren, she said.

Sheldon said the weights had a “10” on them, the Register reports, and the punishment was to hold the weight one minute for each year of their lives. For Sheldon, that was 8.

“I was very angry, distraught,” Gary told the Register. “This is abuse.”

A New Haven schools official would not confirm specifics of the allegations, but said two teachers have been placed on administrative leave during an investigation.

DCF officials would not comment, citing the confidentiality of cases involving minors.

Gary said her daughter is scheduled to meet with DCF on Friday.

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