BREAKING NEWS Jury reaches verdict at trial over George Floyd's death Full Story

Rolling Hills Elementary teachers show evidence of classroom violence

Four Rolling Hills Elementary teachers are showing evidence of violence inside their classrooms to WAAY 31.

Posted: Nov 7, 2017 12:56 PM
Updated: Nov 7, 2017 1:07 PM

(Note: This story originally aired in December 2016.)
These teachers contacted our I-Team after Huntsville City Schools Interim Superintendent Tom Drake, called WAAY 31's previous reports of teachers claiming students were assaulting them "fake news."

"It is really a slap in the face to say that this was fake news," one teacher claims. "It's a dangerous place to go to work."

One teacher gave us pictures of injuries suffered after she claimed a student threw a chair at her. The injury sent her to an emergency clinic.


"I don't feel like it is a part of my job to be assaulted everyday," the teacher said.

Other teachers showed us photos of cuts to their hands, even a bullet one teacher claims she found outside her classroom door.
"They find knives, they find bullets," another teacher said. "These kids might be coming to school armed and ready to go. I'm scared. I'm scared for our children."

WAAY 31 repeatedly asked to speak with the principal of Rolling Hills. The school district never responded, so we took the photos to Huntsville City School Board President Elisa Ferrell.

"It is bruises on a foot, I see bruises on an arm. That might be a bug bite, I'm not sure what that is," Ferrell said while looking at the photos. "If this is happening in the classroom, then they should be more actively engaging in getting the district's attention."
These teachers said they have tried to get the district's help. They believe after being ignored, the school system also belittled their claims.

"I don't know if you have seen elementary kids or not, but they are the cutest little things there ever was. They will come up and hug your leg, but might also kick you in the shin," interim superintendent Tom Drake, said at a school board meeting in December, while referencing WAAY 31's stories. In the same meeting, Drake claimed the incidents were largely accidents and not assaults.

"These are not accidents when a child comes up to you and hits you as hard as they can. It's not an accident when a child throws a chair at you," a teacher said.

Ferrell's only recommendation after seeing the injury was to document any attacks by students. However, this teacher who showed WAAY 31 her medical records, and pictures of her injury did file an on-the-job injury report. We wanted to know more, so we requested every injury report over the last two years at Rolling Hills.

Our I-Team uncovered 14 different reports of students injuring teachers. Four of the reports indicated that the teacher sought medical attention.

One report claims a student hit the teacher in the ear with a phone receiver, causing headaches and vomiting. Another report shows a student flipped a desk, landing on the teacher's feet. You can view those reports here:

"I don't understand how these are accidents. They mean to hurt you," another teacher expressed.

Huntsville City Schools is under a federal desegregation order by the U.S. Department of Justice. It says the district punishes minority students unfairly compared to white children and listed a series of corrections. These teachers believe the school system is turning a blind eye to their complaints because of the DOJ order.

"I think we have an administration whose hands are tied," one teacher said.

Since our first story on Rolling Hills aired, the district hired a behavioral interventionist, but these teachers don't believe it is enough.
"Nobody understands how bad it is. Witness it firsthand and you will see how much assistance we need," a teacher said.

WAAY 31 dug through the Huntsville City Schools Human Resources reports and found since May 2014, 28 teachers have quit at Rolling Hills. Since our sitdown interviews, two of the teachers we spoke with also quit in fear of their safety.

"I have so many kids that come up to me and say.. 'I'm so scared to come here. I don't want to be at this place anymore,'" a teacher said.

Two of the teachers WAAY 31 interviewed tell us a DOJ representative contacted them by phone to learn more about the disciplinary problems at the school.

The DOJ declined to comment on their conversations with the teachers, and school board president Elisa Ferrell said she was unaware of any investigation by the DOJ into the elementary school.

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 71°
Muscle Shoals
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 73°
Huntsville/Madison
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 70°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 72°
Fort Payne
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 69°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 522512

Reported Deaths: 10790
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson755371494
Mobile39129799
Madison34124500
Tuscaloosa25408444
Montgomery24059573
Shelby23225242
Baldwin20730302
Lee15638166
Calhoun14358311
Morgan14171273
Etowah13705348
Marshall12012220
Houston10416279
Elmore10024203
Limestone9862148
Cullman9509191
St. Clair9486236
Lauderdale9280233
DeKalb8762183
Talladega8127173
Walker7151276
Autauga6763106
Jackson6762110
Blount6532133
Colbert6236132
Coffee5436113
Dale4781111
Russell431239
Franklin421382
Chilton4130110
Covington4069115
Tallapoosa3922148
Escambia390374
Dallas3528150
Chambers3519122
Clarke347360
Marion3076100
Pike306676
Lawrence296395
Winston273272
Bibb256761
Marengo248561
Geneva246475
Pickens233259
Barbour227155
Hale218675
Butler213268
Fayette209660
Henry188444
Cherokee182744
Randolph177841
Monroe173140
Washington165538
Macon156548
Clay150255
Crenshaw149557
Cleburne147041
Lamar140034
Lowndes137353
Wilcox124727
Bullock122040
Conecuh109728
Perry107726
Sumter103332
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 835842

Reported Deaths: 12081
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby930851587
Davidson88030924
Knox49813624
Hamilton43402485
Rutherford42319420
Williamson27545216
Sumner23492341
Montgomery19623224
Wilson18472229
Out of TN1803295
Unassigned16760132
Sullivan16184287
Blount15180194
Bradley14599147
Washington14177242
Maury13211169
Sevier13166175
Putnam11168173
Madison10789241
Robertson9607130
Anderson8627171
Hamblen8498171
Greene7739152
Tipton7226104
Coffee6831121
Dickson6734109
Cumberland6568127
Carter6468156
Bedford6426129
Gibson6402144
McMinn636597
Roane6191102
Jefferson6073121
Loudon601669
Lawrence580686
Hawkins5781106
Monroe570995
Warren551381
Dyer5361104
Franklin508688
Fayette492178
Obion450296
Cheatham444454
Cocke443798
Rhea431275
Lincoln430663
Marshall411158
Campbell409662
Weakley402862
Giles395399
Henderson372975
Macon358077
Carroll357582
White354868
Hardin349766
Hardeman346464
Lauderdale314444
Henry312475
Marion309946
Claiborne306273
Scott305545
Overton296961
Wayne294334
Hickman280546
McNairy276854
DeKalb275653
Smith274838
Haywood268361
Grainger259149
Trousdale249022
Morgan246039
Fentress238546
Johnson231638
Bledsoe209711
Chester209451
Crockett201048
Polk200024
Unicoi194549
Cannon188931
Union186034
Grundy177933
Humphreys174221
Lake169526
Sequatchie166728
Benton163240
Decatur157338
Lewis155826
Meigs134823
Stewart130828
Jackson129935
Clay109031
Houston108533
Perry105728
Moore100017
Van Buren83421
Pickett75624
Hancock54912

Community Events