Jenna Bissell Has Two Mommies...


That teacher needs to be fired. For an authority figure to hurt a kid because of their family background is absolutely despicable.
clean 'em out.
And this all happened at Martin Luther King Jr Elementary School. Nice.
And David Bernstein of Bernstein, Shepherd, Clark & Thomas, PLLC Makes Four, a Little Golden Book.
Things are going to get real ugly. Expect more stories like this in the near future.
Blaming a child for the home they live in? How cruel can somebody be?
Umm, is anyone confused as to why a fifth grader would sit in a classroom bleeding from the face without asking to go to the nurse?
Unfortunately, I don't think MLK had any love for gay folks, and I wonder what he would be preaching from the pulpit about same-sex marriage today.

It's truly ironic.

Every generation has its "they aren't like us" moment. What's that going to be in 30 years? Intelligence enhanced canine Americans? Probably.
Before jumping to any conclusions, I'd like to hear the teacher's side of the story. So far, I'll I've seen is the girl's side. I don't know anything about her, but I know I was a piece of shit in fifth grade and would have said anything to get my teachers fired.

Just sayin.
There ya go, #9. Blame the little girl.
The HystericalHomoLiberal Propoganda is the only side of the story you'll get here, little girl.
When the story turns out to be total fabricated bullshit you'll never hear a peep out of Slavage.
If you want Fair and Balanced you'll have to look elsewhere....
Maybe if Jenna had a mommy and a daddy she wouldn't be so damn clumsy.
Why would Jenna possibly think it had any thing to do with her maternal hive borg?

"Peterson shrieked, "IS THIS BECAUSE SHE HAS TWO MOMS?!?!"
@8.. ever heard of bayard rustin ?…
..yeah. i bet they don't talk about him in rio rancho , new mexico either.
dr king's family has been bitterly divided over what he may have thought, but his late wife had no conflicts about supporting gay rights ...…
nor did his late daughter..…
and i think we have every reason in the world to believe that dr king would have supported our community..had he lived.
I would like to hear the other side of this story too, but the teacher confirmed to one of the Mom's that she didn't seek medical attention for Jenna because she has lesbian parents. This teacher is clearly a sick twisted homophobe who should not be allowed around children. How could anyone in a position of authority, in charge of your child's education and well being, how could they in good conscience let a kid sit all day in class with dried blood and cut lips and do nothing about it. I hope this leads to additional charges against the teacher and the school.
@9 You're still a piece of shit.

Sure the district has a different version of events and we need to hear their side (which they are not telling right now). That's what juries are for.

But for you to just say this any kid, whom you've ever met, would go this far to get her teacher fired shows what a sick bastard you are.
Fuck, that school is just up the street from where I used to live.
Riz, thank you for helping keep Dr. King's legacy from being jacked. It means a lot that there are (still) people like you willing to fight heat with light.
@16, but you're not suggesting that kids don't make things up about adults in order to get them into trouble? That doesn't sound like it's the case here, but it certainly does happen regularly and always has.
@7: Some kids are really polite, or taught to respect someone in a position of authority over you. Especially when you're young, those lessons are deeply etched, that you wouldn't go against them to even seek medical treatment when it's clearly needed. Not to make me sound like a saint, but this sounds exactly like something I woulda done as a kid. I would have stayed at my desk because I would have been afraid of getting grounded for angering my teacher by leaving.

@11, 12, 13. Thank you for reminding me why I have my profile automatically collapse unregistered comments, trolls.
There are (a few) kids who would go pretty far to get a teacher fired, but I don't think this is one of them. I'd like to hear what the teacher has to say, but I have seen this type of judgmental behavior before from teachers - mostly in Utah - and as a former teacher, it makes me sick. If it is true, I hope she's fired. Her discriminatory beliefs have no place in a public school; she can go teach in a right wing private Christian school where they kick kids out for being gay or for having gay parents. Me - I'm happy a kid has two loving parents to go home to - I don't really care if they're gay or straight. I was happy to have parents volunteer in the classroom - gay or straight. Most of my students were happy to receive help from a parent volunteer - gay or straight - and on the rare occasion when there were issues, they usually originated from the parents at home and their religious beliefs, though none of them ever had the courage to address their discriminatory beliefs directly with me. But then, bigots, racists, etc. are all cowards whose beliefs are based on fear and lack of understanding.
I'm with 7 - did the child even ask to go see the nurse? If she asked and was denied, that is an even bigger problem, but if she just sat there bleeding hoping someone would notice...well, it's still fucked up the teacher didn't notice/respond appropriately, but 5th grade is old enough to ask for what you clearly need, especially if you're, oh, bleeding. And I can't imagine the other kids wouldn't have been shrieking their heads off - kids are mesmerized by gore.

The other question is - why didn't someone see that a child had hurt herself so badly during recess?
@7 and 22.. i had a hateful teacher in the 5th grade ( bryn mawr elementary chicago , mrs charlens ) she humiliated me every opportunity she had, publically and privately..sometimes to the point of making me cry and then would say..' oh jeez please..quit already with the crocodile tears.' i didn't ask or tell her anything. and because she was an adult authority i didn't tell my mother much about her either.
so in this case, before the injury, her mother tells her to suck it up.
"Peterson said they kept Bissell in the class until the injury occurred, hoping the situation would improve.
"We try to teach her that there's going to be people like this all through life, and you're going to have to live with it and try to stick it out," Peterson said. "
jenna sucks it up , gets injured, but doesn't ask the teacher for help.. what's so hard to believe about that ?...
..oh ..and gus @ 14.. thanks.. bayard rustin is one of my heroes. it's so sad to me that most americnas - african americans included, have no idea who he was and how important he was to dr king's idealogy.. there's a great documentary on him. check it out when you can.seattle library has a few copies.
My cousins teach in the UK and Australia. They have to sign duty-of-care contracts which make it mandatory to report any injury they can see on a student, regardless of whether the injury occurred at the school. It doesn't matter if the kid (in primary or high school) speaks up about it or not.

The only pass I'd give the teacher comes from the report where it says that the dried blood (the most unambiguous indicator of injury) was between the little girl's teeth. This could have been difficult to spot in a classroom situation with lots of children clamoring for attention.

If the story about the book assignment is true, the teacher is a moron. She doesn't know who the parents of her students are and doesn't think a 10 year old would reference their family members when told to write about themselves? What was parent-teacher night going to be like?
The homophobes are always so concerned about the children, yet so willing to tread on them, abuse them, deny them their rights...
don't pretend you don't read them you lying bitch....
"Peterson said she asked, "Is this because she has two moms?" and that the teacher replied with a raised voice that yes, this was the reason and that Peterson should take her children to another school. The teacher then declined legal counsel and signed a statement admitting EVERYTHING."

this harpy bitch is good-
they shopuld let her interrogate at Gitmo....
let us weep for the children....
@26: I read yours, and yours is an argument for unregistered people not being able to comment at all. SLOG should also consider implementing a thumbs up/thumbs down system on comments; SLOG readers could then choose to have comments below a certain threshold automatically hidden as well.
actually, @8, mlkjr was pretty much on the up and up with gays. see bayard rustin, who collaborated closely with mlkjr and was a known homosexual (as jesse helms liked to say)
@16, Chill out bitch. I've seen some fifth-grade age, innocent, cute little buttons do some seriously twisted shit to get their way.

I didn't suggest this girl did anything wrong, but to call for the lynching of a teacher based soley on the words of a ten year old is idiotic.
#8 MLKjr's wife was a vocal supporter of gay rights. History is fun...try checking in with it next time you write.
@ 30 and 32.. i already schooled him at #23..but thanks for playing..
@31 Not a lynching per se, but the whole thing should be taken seriously, to prevent others from thinking they can get away with it and encourage parents to stand up for their kids.

I was the same way! I took the whole "No bathroom breaks during first and last period" rule so seriously in 1st grade that once I peed my pants rather than ask to leave. And up through 5th grade I cried anytime a teacher so much as scolded me because I felt like a failure. Ah, childhood. So much has changed since then.
@20 My fear of authority figures was deeply ingrained by the time I was in grade four. I didn't really get over it until I was in my mid-thirties. I never had a teacher abuse me, but I did have teachers sit silently by while other students abused me in class. I never told anyone. There were plenty of witnesses but no one would've backed me up. I knew this. Even in grade four.

I'll give the girl the benefit of a doubt because I've been there and I know how horrible adults can be towards vulnerable children. Minimum the teacher should be taken out of the classroom until this is resolved. If she's treating one child this way it's likely she's done or is doing it to others.
@24 Most teachers in U.S. public schools have similar mandates. In WA, it is required by law to report suspected abuse, and in my former district, all (known) injuries beyond small cuts required some form of parental notice from the nurse, especially when anything in the head region was affected, whether that be a bump or a scrape.
ahem...there have been rumors about MLK perhaps being a little more gay friendly than you would think...
@36 I figured there might be something similar going on. There's not enough in this story to give definitive information about what actually happened, but if the teacher really was deliberately negligent she's a dumbarse as well as a homophobe for putting her whole career on the line to make a point.
You're great Riz. I remember your taking the time to link information about Bayard Rustin, for another individual here. It was a wonderful education for me then. Thank you for sharing it again.
so how is the 'thumbs up your ass' system working for ya?
By all means let's hire a lawyer over this.
And call the ACLU.
Don't forget Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, either....
If you look at the picture of the girls face, it's pretty obvious she's gotten beaten up. The teacher should have sent her to the school nurse immediately and called her parents. I hope the kid gets a boat-load of cash.…
43 . This is the facebook page, go join. Let them read your comments and know you stand with them.
I'm disgusted to hear this. That teacher needs to lose her job and not be allowed to teach anymore. Where's the phone number to call the school and complain, Dan? You're normally very good about providing this.
@42: Actually, the injuries are consistent with taking a facedive into concrete, such as from tripping and falling at a particularly bad angle. She may have been pushed, but her face was probably a wreck, and the teacher is an unconscionable human being for letting her sit in a classroom with all that BBP...
That's the face of a girl who got a beatdown from one of her highstrung moms
It's telling that the very people who make the "what about the children" kind of arguments against gay marriage -- the one who claim that the kids will be treated differently because of who their parents are -- are usually the first to do the discriminating. I feel sorry for the poor kid, and her parents did the right thing by pulling her out of school.
@ 9 - Echoing a number of previous comments, I have to agree that children tend to internalize a deference to authority figures pretty early. Especially given the fact that this girl came home scraped up and her teacher hadn't sent her off to the nurse's office, we should probably be giving the girl the benefit of the doubt.

It's not that I don't see where you're coming from, I do. Of course some kids tell big lies. Not that this story is at all comparable, but it's the same sort of phenomenon that leads to the massive underreporting of child molestation, rather than overreporting. That doesn't mean that false reports don't happen - of course they do. But it's enough reason to give the kid the benefit of the doubt. (And, again, not comparing this teacher to a child molester. I just use that rather horrifying example to illustrate how a fear of authority can inhibit reporting abuse to your parents - especially if you're worried that you won't be believed. The last thing we want to do is create an environment where kids are afraid of reporting abuse of various kinds for fear of being branded a liar.)

In any event, the girl's parents have a lawyer. They're going to have to prove their case in court. So both sides of the story are going to come out.
What I actually find a bit worrisome is that Jenna's moms kept her in a classroom where the teacher seemed to be discriminating against her. This is the wrong place to teach that lesson if you have any options at all.

If the teacher was discriminating against Jenna in such obvious ways, then the other students were too. Students will take their cues from the teacher. There's no way this situation will improve, and it could get really dangerous really fast... all the teacher has to do is ignore the behavior of the other students.

If you have any evidence that a teacher is discriminating against your kids, get them out of there. They can learn to deal with it from someone other than a teacher.
And I totally agree with that. This absolutely should be investigated, and if the teacher is a homophobe (as seems likely given both the kid AND the parents' statements) then she should be fired on the spot.

Yes, kids should be encouraged to be more forthcoming with their experiences so that when shit like this happens it doesn't get underreported and lost, I agree. And along with encouraging kids to speak up about stuff, at the same time what they say should be verified and double-verified... after all, lots of kids want to please adults and if you encourage them to tell all, they'll exaggerate if they think that's what adults want to hear. They're not always doing it maliciously (although some do), often they just don't know any better ('cause they're kids, after all).
@44 Search for "Rio Rancho Public Schools" and "Albuquerque". You will find a website with contact options galore.
@25 so right!!! These supposedly concerned conservative parents who "worry" about bullying from these children's peers because of their different family situation are in fact the main perpetrators, either directly as this awful excuse for a teacher decided to do, or in using hateful language and attitudes toward these families at home and wondering why their children imitate their behavior at school. Even if you disagree with the parents' lifestyle, what do you accomplish by alienating and bullying a child of that family who had no choice which family they were brought into? People like this are a disgrace to the countless wonderful, hardworking, and under-appreciated teachers in the public school system.
Whatever your views on homosexuality...the bottom line is that this is breach of duty. A child's parents could be doing any one of 1,000 things a teacher doesn't approve of, that does not excuse blatant breach of duty.

Let's say you're anti-gay and approve of this teacher's actions.....what if this girl had been the daughter of two drug-peddling straight parents? Would you have approved of it then? ("Well, serves those drug-peddlers right.....who cares if the daughter has to suffer?")

There are different avenues and arenas where the subject of gay parenting might be raised, but basic medical care isn't one of them.
There are children who have a parent in jail for rape and murder. A teacher might very well disaprove of such a parent, but it would be unconscionable for a teacher to humilate or mistreat a child because of what a parent did.

I don't think there's anything wrong with being gay, but even if I did, even if I thought being gay was as bad as rape or murder, I wouldn't mistreat a small child because of it!
And I bet she calls herself a "Christian" (the teacher that is)...

"Do to others as you would have them do to you" -Luke 6:31

"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" —Matthew 19:19 (spoken by non other than Jesus himself)

@50 - Yeah, but it's usually not hard to tell when a kid is lying. Kids are pretty stupid. (I say this based on growing up as a teacher's kid; I saw a few incidents where kids would lie about things my dad said and did to get back at him for a bad grade or some such, and it was pretty transparent).
Find the different new reports - Albuquerque Journal, KRQE KKOB - initially she tripped while skipping on the playground. Then she was running and tripped over her pant leg and the male teacher who observed it told her if she did it again she would be written up. Now she was pushed down by a bully and the male teacher threatened to write Jenna up for her part in it. Amazing how much more it has grown!
Mom says she fell at the afternoon recess and then sat in class for over three hours. Afternoon recess ends at 2:30 for MLK 5th graders. School is out at 4. Basic math skills are questionable - maybe that is why mom stopped homeschooling.
These are the same parents who were on the news in the fall because they could not abide leaving their children in the school due to the H1N1 virus. They had transferred them to MLK from RRES. They took them out for H1N1 then they brought them back to MLK again. Now this is going on and they have returned to RRES. Go figure.
The article states that the teacher tore the writing by the child about her mothers’ wedding out of her journal and told her she could not use that in her personal narrative. Interesting they have a picture of the journals they used in class. Does that mean the teacher DID NOT tear it out? Or perhaps they photographed it with an intention to set that up for a legal argument later.
As a mother, I am appalled that these women would set their child up to run this crucible of public opinion. These are publicity whores looking for a quick buck on the back of this child. I hope that if the injuries are founded in truth (which I doubt) and she receives any funds, all funds be locked in a trust FOR HER and not for the "mothers" who are taking such "good care" of her.
My daughters go to that school and I know the teacher and I can tell you I never liked her. The school has serious issues and are started to discriminate against everything. I am a single mother and I am being discrimated by this school. They called CPS on me claiming my daughter was abused (all charges dropped because CPS realized not true). I seriously wish the teacher was fired she doesnt need to be around kids if she cannot have them sent to the nurse. Which is against school policy. If there is a bruise or even a little cut the students are to be automatically sent to the nurse.
Have you considered the reason that you have not heard from the school or the teacher or other parties related to the accused side is because the district is being sued? When this happens, these groups and individuals are put under gag order and are not able to comment on the case.

I have read a number of negative comments pointed at the teacher in question, but have you really taken a step back to consider what he/she has done? What career teacher, in their right mind, would say to a parent that the reason a child was not taken care of, was because of the parent's sexual orientation?

Each of you has accused a teacher, who at this time goes nameless, faceless and never being mentioned in the media or public, of a horrendous act before he/she has seen a day in a courtroom. Who are you to judge? Do you know this teacher? Do you know what this person is capable of? Many people on the Facebook page are from out of NM (over 95% I would say), but yet you accuse a person, whom you will never meet, much less see in person.

I do not know this teacher, but they have a right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. Check your skeletons in your closet. Are you as lucky?

How would someone feel that was accused of something when there is no proof? When did the actual injuries occur? Would not some other teacher, student or other person have seen Jenna, bloodied, and helped her or taken her to the nurse? I would think that students by the handful would be speaking up in favor of a child that is as so mangled and this child is being out to be. Why did no other person say that she was this way? What is the most logical conclusion?

The same people who have so vehemently accused this teacher of wrong doing appear on different sites on the internet. Yes, you use the same avatars. You seem to be so caught up in burning a witch because someone says that person is a witch, you do not take time to think about what makes sense.

I personally feel that Shannon Bissell-Peterson has not been in the news for a while and saw an opportunity to get the camera back on her and her family...see:…;;.

How is that for an accusation?
As a mom, my first action would have been to file a complaint over the initial incident, then, remove my child from the school.

I had a teacher who disliked me intensely, over religious issues (Catholic school, my dad didn't believe in God, period). My mother forced me to stay, and I was bullied, punished, treated like something nasty on the bottom of the teacher's shoe. After the first couple of occasions, I should have been removed. Perhaps then, how I developed my belief in myself would have been better.

This kind of thing happens to all children, regardless of parentage. It's a sin to harm a child in any sense.

Shame on those who have done so.
This teacher should be fired.
Jenna should get a huge $$ settlement.
It is an obvious case of extreme and unlawful prejudice.
The school was given an opportunity to do the right thing, they chose to do wrong.
Let them have it with both barrels (metaphorically speaking, of course).