LAKEVIEW — The principal of a magnet school where a teacher is being investigated for slapping a student on the face has issued a statement to parents saying she is working with CPS to address the alleged incident.
Meanwhile, several parents from Inter-American Magnet School said they were "surprised" or "shocked" by news of the alleged slapping.
"This is a good school," said Ray Cotto, whose son attends the school. "For something like that to happen, it's surprising."
DNAinfo Chicago reported last week that Mandarin language teacher Miaomiao Chen is being investigated by Chicago Public Schools for allegedly slapping third-grader Julius Rosero on the cheek last month after he punched his cousin in the stomach.
An incident report obtained by his mother, Linda Reyes, said that four or five students saw Chen make contact with Julius's face. Chen told DNAinfo.com Chicago that "he lied."
Principal Vernita Vallez sent parents a note after local television picked up on the story late last week following the DNAinfo.com report.
"I want you to know that I have been working with the network and the central office administration to assure that the situation was handled appropriately," Vallez said in the note. "I have followed all CPS procedures for investigating the situation.
"As you know, I take the safety and well-being of our students seriously. I also respect the rights and responsibilities that teachers have as professionals working with children in our school."
Some parents of children in the dual-language Spanish and English school expressed surprise that a teacher might touch a student, because the school has a good reputation. They'd never heard of anything like this happening.
"It should be illegal," said Jessica Ortiz, whose daughter attends the school. "No teacher should touch any student, no matter what happened. I'm shocked."
A Chicago Public Schools spokesman said officials started investigating the day after the incident in early February, and investigations typically take a month to be completed. Julius' parents have said they do not want Chen fired — just disciplined in some way.
"It surprises me," said Danny Meneses, whose nieces and nephews are students, but "it's just an individual. It doesn't reflect on the school."