Teacher cuts herself to get students' attention - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Teacher cuts herself to get students' attention

Sylvester- At Holley Elementary School Wednesday, third grade students told their parents their teacher, Georgiann Harrell, yelled to get their attention.

When that didn't quiet the class, students say the teacher shattered a glass candle holder. But that didn't work either. Angela Avery's third grade daughter told her what happened next.

"She picked up a piece of the glass and she cut her wrist with it," Avery said. "Then she proceeded to tell them that if they cut both their wrist and the veins in their ankles that they would bleed to death."

Thursday morning Harrell apologized to the class.

"So the first thing she did when she came in was she apologized to the class and told them that it was her fault and she was sorry for what she had done," Avery said.

But parents had already complained. Now the school system is investigating. Dr. Gary Russell, the superintendent wouldn't talk to us on camera citing the privacy of personnel issues, but he did tell us that the teacher is out of the classroom on paid leave and the students have received counseling.

Sylvester Police Chief Tony Strenth has taken two parental complaints about the teacher cutting herself and another issue he won't discuss yet. But no charges have been filed. Strenth has asked the GBI assist with the investigation because they can do recorded interviews with the students.

Like most parents, Avery didn't have any reason to be concerned about the teacher until this week.

"Her grades never dropped, her grades never changed, and so we didn't have any concern about what was going on at school."

But now Avery's learned that Ms. Harrell has had discussions about sex with her child.

"She has taught my child numerous things we don't feel is right for her age to know," Avery said.

"It makes you angry, it makes you upset that she's teaching your child these things."

Now parents are waiting for answers.

posted by news@walb.com