Parents upset with principal's blacktop pushup punishment

Posted at 6:24 PM, Nov 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-03 21:24:14-04

SAN DIEGO - Some parents are demanding an apology after a local school principal's punishment left some children with blistered hands.

A parent told 10News her son's hands were hurt last month when the principal at Horton Elementary School made 4th and 5th graders hold the pushup position on the scorching hot blacktop.

The punishment happened for three days because of unruly behavior.

"Her friend got a lot of blisters and some of the kids did get blisters and nobody is listening to us; it's frustrating," parent Claudia Maldonado said.

Maldonado said her child and others complained the blacktop was too hot. She was one of several parents who showed up to a meeting demanding answers from Horton Elementary School Principal Staci Dent.

The meeting became tense, and parents say they were given letters banning them from campus for 14 days because "they were belligerent with the principal" by "attempting to take over the parent meeting."

"This is very silly that we cannot get close to the school," parent Yoana Tiece said.

"To be honest, I didn't even want to do it," Dent said.

Dent said after talking to school police, she decided to send letters to the parents. She said modified recess was intended to promote good behavior, not to hurt the kids.

Parents say all they want is an apology, and Dent said she's open to meeting with them.

"In clear conscious, I would have done it again. If I could have done anything differently, by all means I would have communicated more proactively with parents on what happened and the next steps," Dent said.

The San Diego Unified School District says no students reported being injured.