Janitor Admits To Paying Students $1 To Beat Up Fourth-Grade Classmate

Grand Rapids custodian targeted student for cursing and making "unflattering comments."

WOOD
When you work with or around children you're likely to confront many challenges that will leave you searching for answers. And then there are the no-brainers, such as refraining from ordering a hit on a fourth grader just because he or she made fun of you. But one janitor has apparently embraced that act of egregious impropriety and paid off two fourth-graders to "rough up" one of their nine-year old classmates who was mouthing off. The janitor, who was working on a contract for the Grand Rapids Public School system in Michigan, has admitted to the story and was promptly fired on Monday, as the Associated Press reported.

None of the parties have been identified in local reports. But the lunchtime incident centered over a $1 offer made by a female janitor to two students at the Campus Elementary school. Apparently the janitor, who was employed through the privately-owned West Michigan Janitorial Service, was taken aback by comments directed at her by another fourth grader that involved a "curse word and unflattering comments," as the Grand Rapids Press reported.

And according to reports, the students accepted the offer and beat up their classmate, as local NBC outlet WOOD reported. No major injuries, however, were reported. Reports also didn't mention if the pair of students will be disciplined for accepting the offer.

The mother of the targeted student was shocked by her child's ordeal. "To think that there's an adult that can be so like twisted to sit there and watch a little boy -- a little 9-year-old boy -- get beat up, and get enjoyment out of it," she told the Grand Rapids Press. She also is not being named in reports for fear of further attacks.

The incident came to the school's attention after a bystander overheard the scheme and reported it to school authorities, according to reports. And upon being questioned, the janitor offered her confession. She was then fired.

In speaking to the Grand Rapids Press, school spokesman John Helmholdt had harsh words regarding the worker's conduct. "It is absolutely unacceptable in any way, shape or form for an employee to behave in this manner," he said. "There are consequences, and this individual learned quick the hard way."

Prior to this incident the female janitor, who began working at the school this year, had a clean criminal record, as the NBC affiliate reported. The victim's mother also said she is considering whether she wants to press charges. The Grand Rapids police are reportedly also looking into the matter.

The incident is not the only instance from this past week of workers who work with public school students being accused of acting outrageously on the job. As AOL Jobs reported, Albuquerque mother Carola Montoya just came forward to say a bus driver for her second-grade daughter sent her a text message saying she didn't want to help out her "retarded" daughter anymore because of her cerebral palsy.


Dan Fastenberg

Dan Fastenberg

Associate Editor

Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.

Follow Dan on Twitter. Email Dan at daniel.fastenberg@teamaol.com. Add Dan to your Google+ circles.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

154 Comments

Filter by:
Jenny and Jeff

Ugh. I know the school employees are supposed to do their jobs and be accountable, but can't we also admit that children and youth today aren't respectful of authority and everyone gets sued for things like this, instead of actually getting to the root of what caused the problem? Was the janitor being mocked day after day? Where did this 9-year-old hear curse words that are insulting to an adult? Didn't anyone intervene from the parents' perspectives on this problem, if the child was (likely) creating some degrading scenarios around the school? When do the parents have a job to do for their child, instead of leaving it to society to teach all these rules?! I know, the janitor should NEVER pay a child to be beaten up, that is completely another societal issue to talk about, but every single story I hear these days jumps on the defense of the "poor teens" or "innocent children" and never deals with what crime or horrific thing they did and always blames someone else for their lack of manners and upbringing.

March 03 2014 at 6:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrea

I Know someone who works in after-care at an elementary school, and I am sure there are times when she wished she could order a "hit" on one of her bratty kids. I have to send her this article!

February 27 2014 at 10:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jessie

Yes, the kid badmouthing an adult is wrong and the kid should be disciplined, BY THE PARENTS. I consider what the janitor did as child abuse, even though she did not commit the act. To those saying this kid deserved it, what if this young child was beaten to death? Does he deserve death? The janitor should have acted like an adult and turned the kid in, not hire future thugs to do her dirty work and for $1!

Also, who is to say this child actually did curse the janitor? I am not saying the child didn't because most kids these days are brats, but some adults are sick individuals, such as this janitor.

Lets be thankful more damage wasn't done to this kid because it could have been worse. This janitor basically condoned bullying.

October 13 2013 at 3:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CWayne Self

Wow so many idiots on here coming to the aid of the adult janitor are you knuckle heads kidding me. The kid is 9 years old, 9 years old wow what a country

October 13 2013 at 2:12 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to CWayne Self's comment
Jessie

I know right.

October 13 2013 at 3:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gelleybean

Any decent parent would beat their kids butt for that type of conduct towards an adult or anyone...beat it for free.

October 13 2013 at 2:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
starfish1952

I don't condone the child's behavior, but I really don't think that janitor's behavior is in the least acceptable! After all, isn't the janitor an adult? The child's comment's should have been reported to the school principle and the principle should contact the parents and the kid should have been suspended.

October 13 2013 at 1:32 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
twb142

I am shocked that the parent of the 9 yr old student who got beat us doesn't think anything about her son badmouthing a janitor as wrong. I would have paid each student $10 a piece but would have had 5 students beat him up.

October 13 2013 at 1:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to twb142's comment
Jessie

Well, you are no better than the janitor. The janitor is a grown ass adult wanting to inflict pain onto a child. The janitor could have simply turned the kid in and had him suspended from school. I still consider what the janitor did as child abuse even if other children committed the act. So grow up twb142 I hope you are never in charge of children or have any.

October 13 2013 at 2:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Trisha

OMG, another parent not parenting their child. Nowhere in this is the mother SHOCKED by the disrespectful trash mouthing her kid directed at an adult. Sure this janitor is an idiot...she should have reported him to the Principal to get this boys parents in for parenting 101. No names were told....not even just a LAST name? I wonder why that is.....hm, it isnt like EVERY kid at school isnt aware of this incident.

October 13 2013 at 1:03 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
galaxyslabyrinth

The kid needs to be disciplined. All the actions surrounding this little brat are reinforcing that it is okay to act as he/she did. The kids mother needs to be slapped.

October 12 2013 at 11:58 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
racurrry

Maybe the kid should be expelled and the parents fined...period !

October 12 2013 at 11:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Jobs

In Partnership With
Keywords:
Location:

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

April 20 - April 27

Looking for work? See what companies added new openings this week.