7 On Your Side Investigates: New York City teacher caught on tape verbally abusing students

STATEN ISLAND, New York City (WABC) -- A language arts teacher at a middle school on Staten Island has been reprimanded for verbally abusing her students, according to a spokesperson with the New York City Department of Education.

7 On Your Side Investigates obtained exclusive audio recordings of Shameka Norton, who works at Anning S. Prall Intermediate School/IS 27, losing her temper and berating her students multiple times over a week.

"You don't have a clue what the hell I'm talking about," she shouts in one recording, appearing to catch herself from using more foul language. "You are killing me."

In another incident, Norton becomes frustrated with one student's answer to a question she had posed.

"Is she serious?" she asks the class. "I'm done."

At another point, Norton sounds as if she is shouting and clapping or pounding an object while demanding her students answer her questions.

"Tell me," she shouts. "Tell me more."

The mother of one of Norton's students complained to Eyewitness News about her behavior.

"It's one thing to be strict, but it's a whole other thing when you are screaming at them and throwing books," Tina Douglas said. "There is no reason for that. That should never be allowed."

Douglas' daughter agreed to record Norton over a week, and 7 On Your Side Investigates shared those recordings with Department of Education.

A DOE investigation confirmed Norton had violated the schools chancellor's policy prohibiting verbal abuse.

Norton's principal held a disciplinary conference and noted her behavior in her file with a "disciplinary letter."

The DOE said the principal will also monitor Norton's class.

If the outbursts continue, DOE said more drastic steps could be taken.

"IS 27 is a strong learning community, and the principal works with every teacher to ensure a supportive classroom environment," a DOE spokesperson said in a statement. "We take this incident very seriously, and the principal took appropriate follow-up action following a thorough investigation."

Eyewitness News has learned that the incident marks the second time Norton has been formally reprimanded, and Douglas wonders whether DOE should have removed Norton from the classroom.

"Is she really going to stop?" asked Douglas. "That's my problem."

Douglas didn't wait to find out and pulled her daughter from Norton's class.

"I send her to school, and I expect she is safe," Douglas said. "Not just physically, but emotionally as well."

Her daughter said she was relieved to be out of the class.

"I felt like five pounds of stress came off of me, because I didn't have to deal with her anymore," she said.

Still, she worries about the other students who still have Norton for a teacher.

DO YOU NEED A STORY INVESTIGATED? Jim Hoffer, Danielle Leigh and the 7 On Your Side Investigates team at Eyewitness News want to hear from you! Call our confidential tip line 1-877-TIP-NEWS (847-6397) or fill out the form BELOW. You can also contact Jim and Danielle directly: Jim Hoffer: Email your questions, issues, or story ideas to 7OnYourSideJim@abc.com Facebook: facebook.com/jimhoffer.wabc Twitter: @NYCinvestigates Danielle Leigh Email your questions, issues, or story ideas to 7OnYourSideDanielle@abc.com Facebook: DanielleLeighJournalist Twttier: @DanielleNLeigh
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.