Teacher investigated for hitting student with belt
By Ron Nissimov
Houston Chronicle, February 21, 2004

A Houston high school teacher is under investigated by school officials for hitting a 16-year-old student with a belt.

Adriana Villarreal, Houston Independent School District spokesman, said the school district has a policy forbidding corporal punishment.

Villarreal said Sherman Elliott, a math teacher and girls' track coach at Worthing High School, has admitted to using his belt Friday afternoon to discipline the youth.

"This is absolutely something we are outraged about, and we are going to see strongest possible action against this teacher," Villarreal said.

She said punishment could range from reprimand to termination.

The child's parents declined to press criminal charges against Elliott, Villarreal said, but she said there is a chance that HISD officials will pursue charges.

Sherman, who has taught in HISD for more than 20 years, will work in administrative offices pending the outcome of the investigation, Villarreal said.

Sherman could not be reached for comment.

Villarreal said the incident occurred after school. The boy apparently didn't respond to Sherman's request to leave an office, so the teacher took off his belt and hit the youth twice, she said.

She said there were "no major injuries," but did not have information if the youth, whose name was not disclosed, was bruised.

Villarreal said the youth and another student who witnessed the incident reported it to school authorities.

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