When you send your children to school, you expect them to treat their educators with nothing but respect.
And while we all know there are repercussions when they demonstrate rude behavior, parents of a fifth grader were stunned when they learned their son was punished after he addressed his teacher as ma'am.
Teretha Wilson and McArthur Bryant claim their son Tamarion was humiliated after he got off the bus from Tarboro, North Carolina's North East Carolina Preparatory School on August 21.
"I asked him what happened. He said he got in trouble for saying 'yes ma'am,'" Wilson told ABC 11.
When she asked what he meant, Tamarion showed her a sheet of paper which had the word "ma'am" written four times on every line from front to back, which needed to be signed.
The 10-year-old said he was disciplined after he repeatedly called his teacher ma'am, even though she asked him not to.
"He had a look on his face of disappointment, shame," Bryant told the news outlet, adding that he and Wilson had taught their children to treat their elders with respect.
"At the end of the day as a father, to feel kind of responsible for that...knowing that I have been raising him and doing the best that I can, it's not acceptable," he added.
Bryant said Tamarion was recently hospitalized for a seizure-related activity, which led to side effects of memory loss and hallucinations.
While the teacher was unaware of Tamarion's medical condition, Wilson said she admitted to her and the school's principle that she told her son "if she had something, she would have thrown it at him."
However, the educator said the threat was not serious and she believed Tamarion knew that.
Although Tamarion returned the sign sheet to his teacher, his parents also attached a second page, which had the definition of ma'am written on it.
A spokesperson North East Carolina Preparatory School told ABC 11 in a statement, "This is a personnel matter which has been handled appropriately by the K-7 principal."
While Tamarion has since been moved to a different class, Bryant's warning parents that a similar incident is likely to occur.
"If it happened to my son, I'm pretty sure if not a week, a day, a month, a year, it will occur to somebody else's child," he said.
[H/T: ABC 11]
Do you think Tamarion should have been punished for calling his teacher ma'am? Let us know in the comments!