Student injured in Chesapeake school, mother speaks out


by Karen Hopkins, 13News

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 23 at 10:47 AM

CHESAPEAKE-- Stephanie Bennett says her ten-year-old daughter got a painful lesson at her Chesapeake school.

Bennett claims her daughter's hand was cut when her teacher yanked her hand out of the desk while forcing her to do Islamic hand signs. 

Sky's finger got caught on a file from her notebook and her finger was cut.

Bennett took a picture of her daughter's scraped hand, and called the Butts Intermediate School principal and police.

According to police spokeswoman Kelly O’Sullivan, Tara Harris has been charged with simple assault for the incident that happened at school on Oct. 2.

O'Sullivan would not give further details on the charges.

Bennett says her daughter told her she was learning the Islamic hand sign for "power and strength."

While these gestures are not part of the religion, experts say some cultures may use the signals.

Bennett says she's most upset that her daughter was hurt because her family moved to Chesapeake for the good schools.

"My husband and I, we worked so hard for what we have, and we sacrificed so much to be out here, and then this happens," Bennett said.

Tara Harris has been suspended from her job without pay.