Teacher accused of berating students back in the classroom

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A Brevard County teacher is accused of going too far in how she disciplined kindergarten students in her classroom.

Parents said Jamie Hooper disciplined the students with disparaging statements and instructed her class to target individual students with taunting words.

One parent said it left her young son traumatized.

A reprimand from the State Education Practices Commission accused Hooper of berating students at Freedom 7 Elementary School in Cocoa Beach.

MORE: Read the reprimand 

One example from the reprimand said when a student could not recite the alphabet and began to cry, Hooper mocked him by saying, “Wah, wah, wah,” and instructed the class do the same.

And when a student failed to provide a correct answer, she instructed the class to say, “Duh.”

Because of those complaints over a time period of two years at the school, Hooper was taken out of the classroom and placed on administrative duties.

But since then, she’s become a teacher at Sabal Elementary in Melbourne, where she’s now teaching second-graders.

Hooper was found in violation of four statutes, which the state said seriously reduces her effectiveness as an employee, caused conditions harmful to learning and exposed students to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement.

A grandparent familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified, said she’s shocked Hooper is still a teacher.

Brevard County Public Schools said she had a professional services contract, which allows certain due process privileges, but she’s receiving additional support in the classroom.

As part of her reprimand, Hooper is on three-year probation and isn’t allowed to teach anything below second grade.

Statement from Brevard Public Schools:

Jamie Hooper was employed as a full time teacher under a professional services contract on 1/14/1998. Teachers employed under a PSC have certain due process privileges. Based on the outcome of the investigation by the Department of Professional Practices, we have provided additional supports for Ms. Hooper to ensure she meets established criteria established by both the Department of Professional Practices and the School Board of Brevard County.

Statement from Jamie Hooper through email:

“I can only say that I have prayed for grace and understanding in this matter.”