Fifth-grader suspended for recording teacher verbally abusing students

Some parents are saying a fifth-grade Florida student was unfairly suspended after she took matters into her own hands and exposed her belittling school teacher who was on a serious power trip.

Eleven-year-old Brianna Cooper from Fort Pierce said her teacher had been mean in the past and the only way to prove it was to record her.

“I thought I did the right thing,” Brianna told WSVN 7 News.

WSVN-TV – 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

At one point, the teacher could be heard saying to a student, “Don’t let the size fool you. I will drop you.”

She was also caught chastising Brianna’s classmate and said, “Biggest kid in the fifth grade and you acting like the smallest one.”

Brianna’s actions were vindicated when the recordings led to the firing of her teacher – but it also led to a punishment for Brianna.

Kassie Faulkner, Brianna’s mother, is proud of her daughter and glad the teacher is gone. But she doesn’t understand why Brianna was suspended for doing the right thing.

The debate comes after Brianna was reprimanded by the school because it’s illegal in Florida to record somebody without their knowledge since there is an “expectation of privacy.”

Attorney Michelle Suskauer said the laws are outdated. “We have not caught up legally with what is happening technologically,” she said.

“You can’t look at this in a vacuum and say, ‘Well, the child videotaped a teacher, and therefore that was illegal, so the child needs to be suspended for five days,’” Suskauer said.

It raises the question about how much “privacy” a school teacher is entitled to while on the job working with other peoples’ children.

Brianna’s parents are standing by their daughter’s decision to record her teacher and maintain her punishment was unwarranted. They also worried about the timing of her suspension, which landed over the preparation period for Florida’s Standards Assessment Test.

Related: Fourth-grade firecracker gets standing O for feisty speech on testing

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Nicole Haas

Nicole Haas

"Nicole Haas is an author, activist, and writer of all things parenting, pop culture and politics. She seeks to champion truth and liberty with the hope that her children and future generations have a fighting chance."
Nicole Haas


32 thoughts on “Fifth-grader suspended for recording teacher verbally abusing students

  1. bidvajoo says:

    “It raises the question about how much “privacy” a school teacher is entitled to while on the job working with other peoples’ children.”

    When on the job, NO Privacy should be expected. Working with other people’s children, as a PUBLIC employee, in a PUBLIC building on PUBLIC property, being paid with PUBLIC money.

    If this a private school, should be no different. Parents have a right to know how their children are being treated or mistreated, period.

  2. William Bauers says:

    Expectation of privacy in a public forum is BS, students can record lectures in college etc.. etc…

  3. Jeff Simon says:

    Somebody start up a page for this intrepid and resourceful little girl. I want to donate towards her trip to Disney World.

  4. hello “Public” as in public school does not imply private or privacy in any way. the only place privacy is granted and expected is in the bathrooms.

  5. Independence_R_US says:

    Maybe it’s time to take the children out of that school into another one.

  6. stinkerbean says:

    Bravo for her. What expectation of privacy in a public school???? I don’t get it. Half the schools have cameras in classrooms and hallways . I think the Principal needs to go find a new job. How is a child suppose to know about privacy when everywhere they go they are watched. Something is a miss here and parents need to stand up for the rights of their children. Get the Unions out of schools. They have no business there. Unions were set up for abuses. I can’t imagine where a teacher is abused by the system. Now they do half the work for twice the pay and kids learn nothing. They can learn twice as much and twice as fast on computer programs and even tv. The History Channel, The Science Channel, National Geographic Channel and so many others. Close the Schools, Give every child a computer and lets learn that way. Ha. Have you seen a college student lately? Dumb as a box of rocks.

  7. Pamela Ann Myers says:

    FIGHT BACK PEOPLE !!! Teacher bullies are just one more step toward the degradation of schools and beating down students. Call it whatever, socialism, fascism, progressivism or what it really is, COMMUNISM.

    The student did the right thing, the teacher deserves it and the parents should not back down to BULLYING from the school. No teacher has the right to treat students that way. The teacher got exactly what she deserved and should be fired! As below by Richard Hickox Get a LAWYER and Charles Baumann There are WHISTLEBLOWER LAWS on the books,,,, ! think about it…
    The girl is a HERO and deserves credit and can remember for the rest of her life that she stood up and got a JERK teacher fired!!!

  8. Tiki Steve says:

    There is no expectation of privacy in a public setting. Public school would fit in this case.

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