EDUCATION
04/14/2011 12:51 pm ET | Updated Jun 14, 2011

School: Teacher Told Students To 'Oink' At Messy Classmate

Take it from the Peanuts character "Pig-pen," some kids are just messy.

A teacher was suspended for one day without pay after allegedly telling her kindergarteners to surround and "oink" at the messiest student in the class, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports.

The unorthodox disciplinary decision by Debbie Hayes, a teacher at Bowers Elementary School in Roane County, Tenn., was discovered by a colleague who walked into Hayes' classroom on March 16 to find students "'oinking' and making pig sounds" at their unkempt classmate.

According to a reprimand letter from Dr. Toni H. McGriff, Roane County Schools director, Hayes repeatedly told the student to clean up his act before exclaiming, "Your area looks like a pig sty. Oink. Oink."

The teacher who witnessed the group oinking informed Candace Lett, the school's principal, that afternoon.

McGriff called the incident a "black eye on the profession."

"To have this happen is simply unbelievable and undermines everything we try to teach children about how to treat each other," McGriff wrote in a reprimand letter.

Hayes, who has taught kindergarten in the county for 38 years, told McGriff that she was unaware the children were taunting the messy student, "but did agree that it was inappropriate," according to the letter.

Hayes served her suspension on March 18.