HUNTINGTON BEACH -- A Huntington Beach middle school teacher has come under fire for allegedly hitting a student in the forehead with a clipboard in response to what she called a stupid question, according to a claim filed against the school district.

James and Sandra Barr claim that Sowers Middle School algebra teacher Marta Rosener singled out their son, Devonte Barr, hitting him in front of his class because of his race and disability. Devonte is African-American and is a special needs student.

The claim, filed last month and rejected by the district on March 16, alleges intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, battery, violation of civil rights and other allegations.

The alleged incident occurred Nov. 18 during a lockdown drill after which Devonte asked Rosener, "What if they came in through the window?" the claim says.

In response, Rosener said "stupid question" and hit Barr across the forehead with a clipboard, according to the claim.

Other students from the class reported what they saw to the principal's office.

School administrators apologized to the boy's parents the next day and said this "was not the first time Rosener acted in an irresponsible and inappropriate manner," the claim stated.

According to the claim, Barr's parents requested an apology from Rosener, who did not oblige.

"Devonte has been the subject of harassment and teasing from peers about the incident," his parents said in the claim. "This harassment has caused Devonte psychological and emotional harm."

The Barrs' attorney, Timothy Adams, said Devonte Barr is a special needs child who was unfairly singled out because of his disability and race.

This is the second allegation in recent months saying a Huntington Beach teacher hit a student with a clipboard.

On Jan. 28, Cruz Pontes, 16, sued the Huntington Beach Union High School District and teacher George Steven Higi, alleging assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.


Information from the OC Register.