Odyssey Atlanta - Favortism and Unfair Practices

Posted on Sunday, June 23rd, 2013 at 10:02am CDT by michelle t.

Product: Summer Camp

Company: Odyssey Atlanta

Location: 1424 West Paces Ferry Road, NW
ATLANTA, GA, 30327, US

URL: www.odysseyatlanta.org

Category: Kids, Baby

My child attends the Odyssey summer program on the campus of the Westminister located on W. Paces Ferry Rd. Her class experienced a great injustice around 3pm on 06/13/2013. Her classroom teacher, Tom Powanda, out of frustration of the children?s' "rowdiness", decided that it was okay to "dump" a box of individually wrapped bags of potato chips on the ground and instructed the kids to "get em". There was one student who decided to place the chips back in the box from which they were dumped, only for the teacher to return and dump the chips on the floor again. I am outraged that a group of children were treated so unfairly and disrespected, but I am even more concerned that the staff, Tara Sconzo and MJ Thorne will not take any type of disciplinary action against the teacher. I believe that the teacher should not have had a reason to remove the children?s' snacks from the box and dump them on the floor under any circumstances. For anyone to degrade another human, let alone a child in this situation is a great injustice. Someone with the mindset that these actions are OK should not be closely working with children on a regular basis. I am upset that this situation is not viewed in its apparent light. This group of students were African American with the exception of 1 student who was of Mexican descent. The teacher is a middle age Caucasian man..

I have cell phone video of our initial meeting with the Manager of the Odyssey program, as well as video footage of our phone conversation where the staff says the teacher did not deny the wrong doing. One request I had was the teacher give an apology to the class for the disrespect. That had not happened as of 06/14/2013 and the staff continued to justify the teachers actions.

Update! We spoke with MJ Thorne, the Executive director of Odyssey today. She asked me what action we wanted to have taken, I advised her that the teacher should be disciplined without pay. Ms Thorne advised me that the teacher is a very, very good friend of hers, and that it was very hard to confront him about the situation. She feels that her talking to him and advising him to apologize was discipline enough, and I don't agree. There was another teacher present for the second time the teacher dumped the bags of chips on the floor who was also present during the meeting. My question for her was why didn't she advise the staff of the incident immediately? Mj Thorne has told us there is no way she would discipline him any further.

My concern is for the children who attend this camp each summer. We as parents and the community will have no idea about how our children are being treated if favoritism continues to supersede justice.


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