Parents claim teacher forced 8-year-old girl to eat food from garbage

(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

Monte Sonnenberg, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:28 PM ET

SIMCOE, Ont. -- The parents of an eight-your-old girl are outraged after they say a teacher forced their daughter to eat food from a garbage can.

Jordan Stewart and her husband Dave Tank pulled their two daughters from Ecole Sainte Marie and notified the local Children's Aid Society as soon as they found out about the incident last Thursday. The CAS has opened a file and is discussing the issue with school board officials.

"I was horrified," Stewart said Wednesday. "It's beyond my ability to understand that an adult could do this to a child, let alone a teacher in a position of responsibility with children. I told the teacher she was a bully. I was disgusted, appalled."

The teacher has been identified as Renee Luise Oettershagen, brought in as a substitute teacher at the French-language school, according to Stewart.

Stewart's daughter said she threw out the banana because it was "rotten."

"It had all black spots on it," she said. "My teacher found it in the garbage and gave it to me. I felt like I had to eat it. I felt like I'd be in trouble if I didn't eat it. I didn't feel very good. I didn't feel it was the right thing to do."

The parents said they have subsequently learned that Oettershagen has on several occasions forced the child to eat school-provided sandwiches she’d thrown out because she doesn’t like lettuce.

All of these episodes reportedly took place at the front of the class with other children watching. The reason given was to teach the students that it is wrong to waste food.

According to the Ontario College of Teachers website, Oettershagen is the subject of a hearing, yet to be scheduled, into allegations of “professional misconduct” and incompetence from her time as a teacher in Halton Region, last year.

The Conseil scolaire de District Catholique Centre-Sud of Toronto declined to comment on the case.

"Given the fact that the investigations are ongoing, the CSDCCS cannot comment further at this time," spokesperson Mikale-Andree Joly said in an email.

Wednesday afternoon, Principal Gamache Brown confirmed Oettershagen remains an employee at Ecole Sainte Marie, and referred all inquiries to the board.

monte.sonnenberg@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @montereformer

 


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