First-grade conflict at Garfield Elementary serves as lesson for all parents

SPOKANE, Wash.– Kids all across the nation get into fights at school.

It’s natural for that to happen, but you never realize how frustrating it can be until it happens to your child.

That’s why the last month has been so stressful for Cambree Ireland.

Her daughter was hit twice in the last month by the same student.

“I just want what’s best for my daughter, and I think at this point that is to separate them,” Ireland said.

But, separating students in school is never as simple as you think.

“She was standing there and holding up her quiet coyote like she was supposed to,” Ireland said.

Ireland tells us that’s when her daughter was hit by a classmate.

The two first graders at Garfield Elementary have a history of issues with each other, and that is why the school district and school staff assured Ireland the kids would be separated.

Until it happened again on Tuesday.

“It’s just really frustrating to me because that safety plan clearly fell through the cracks,” Ireland said.

She was fed up, and reached out to us, possibly not knowing what was happening with the other student.

The father of that boy tells us his son is on the autism spectrum.

He has an individual education plan, which supports special education students. The school can’t tell us or anyone else what exactly that includes.

Ireland just wanted the kids in different classes.

“It does take time to work through this,” Brian Coddington of Spokane Public Schools said. “We’re going to make sure we work through a process, and we’re going to start with the lowest possible resolution so we can get everyone back to learning and focused on school.”

The boy was permanently switched to a different class Friday, but a little later than Ireland had hoped.

The school district said if this happens with your child, start with the teacher and try to be patient.

“That is always the preferred method to partner with the parent,” Coddington said. “If the that doesn’t get resolved, you can always talk to the principal or the counselor of the school. Sometimes it’s a matter of getting the counselor involved to add additional resources.”

The father of the boy thinks the school handled everything the right way.

Ireland is happy the kids are separated now, but she wishes her daughter didn’t have to get hit for it to happen.