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Parents Of First Grader Say Son Was Bullied By Own Teacher

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - A North Texas couple says their son was bullied at school, not by a fellow classmate, but by his first grade teacher.

Nicholas Acosta, 6, got in trouble for playing with his curly hair during Mass at Immaculate Conception Catholic School in Grand Prairie.

After that, the teacher put the child's hair in pigtails in front of their first grade class.

"That was her way of fixing him, bullying my son, harrassing him and embarrassing him in front of the students," said the boy's mother, Erica Acosta.

The boys parents only found out about the incident days later.

"My son was so scared that it would happen again or he thought it was his fault so he didn't tell us until 4 days later," said Erica Acosta.

Paul Acosta, the boy's father, a 22 year military veteran was stunned to hear the

"Anger and disbelief, that this could actually happen," he said.

In a meeting with the school's prinicipal, Linda Santos, and the school's head priest, the Acosta's were told the teacher was reprimanded and will be evaluated closely while the incident is investigated.

"Absolutely, I do not condone it. I would never condone any humiliation to a child or even an adult," said Linda Santos, principal at Immaculate Conception Catholic School.

But the teacher, who has taught at the school for 7 years, will remain in the classroom throughout the school's investigation, something the Acosta's don't agree with.

"We trusted the school and I feel like the school has let us down tremendously," said the boy's father.

Santos said the school has not recieved a complaint about the teacher in questions since she has worked at the school.

The teacher offered a letter of apology to the Acostas saying,"I am deeply sorry for Nicholas' hair in pigtails after he tossed his hair during Mass....I was just trying to get his attention to understand that we need to act reverent in Mass. What I did was wrong and was not meant to humiliate him whatsoever. After reflecting on the incident, I understand what I did was in poor judgement, and it will never happen again. I am asking that you forgive me for my mistake," signed Mrs. Jenny Salazar.

But the apology, the Acosta's say, will not help their son's state of mind. They say he has been deeply affected by the incident.

"He has mentioned several times that he wants to have normal hair, so I asked him, 'What's normal hair?' And he said, 'Straight, like the rest of my friends,' so that-it hurts everytime I talk about it," said his mother.

"I told him,'There's a person who is the most important person in the Universe in our lives that has brown, curly hair,' and he asked me who it was and I said, 'Jesus. Jesus has curly, brown hair,' and he smiled," said the boys' father.

The Acosta's say, if the teacher is not removed from the classroom, they feel they will have to remove their child from the school.

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