Teacher leashes middle school child

July 2, 2010 at 6:32 PM

PORT ORANGE, Fla., July 2 (UPI) -- A south Florida middle school teacher was fined for allegedly having a student lead a classmate around on a leash, authorities say.

The Florida Education Practices Commission fined Teresa Volkman, a social studies teacher at Silver Sands Middle School in Port Orange, Fla., $5,000 for professional misconduct, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

When questioned about the November 2008 incident when students were disrupting the classroom, Volkman told officials she considered the incident, where she told one student in a sixth-grade geography class to lead another around using a bungee cord as a leash, as "a humorous way to calm the situation," the Sun-Sentinel said Thursday.

Volkman said the learning exercise involved giving the misbehaving student's partner control over his behavior as they moved to learning stations around the classroom.

The boy's partner was instructed not to tighten the bungee cord or drag the boy, but classmates alleged the leashed student deliberately pulled against the cord, leaving a red mark, the newspaper said.

"I guess I have been watching too much 'Dog Whisperer' on TV," Volkman said.

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