At a school in the Bronx, a 15 year old student arrived 5 minutes late to his Spanish class. He walked over to one of the students and demanded the chair he was sitting in. And a fight broke out. Lissedia Batista, their pregnant teacher, stepped in to break up the fight and was elbowed hard in the stomach. She fell to the ground, crying, and was rushed to the hospital. It was there that she miscarried, ending her 4 month pregnancy.
It was an accident, no one meant to harm the popular teacher. But regardless, the students’ careless actions hurt their teacher and killed her unborn baby. The 15 year olds were sent home, suspended from school. And when asked if she wanted to press charges, Ms. Batista did something many others would not have done.
She said no.
In a decision that determined the fate of how these two 15 year old boys’ lives would play out, Ms. Batista chose to not send them away. Even though her baby is gone. Even though it was their actions that took her child away. She decided that the danger of these boys ending up in the criminal justice system was far bigger a tragedy than the death of her unborn child.
And it’s not like there isn’t pain. A woman at her home told the media that she is recovering, but doesn’t want to talk about the episode. And as a comment on newyork.cbslocal.com, her cousin left this:
“That was my close cousin and I’m so mad because we both were pregnant and we were just talking about our bellies. Lissedia is too good of a person to have such a terrible thing like that to happen to her and the family. I can picture her interfering in something like that because she always worries about everyone’s safety and she always told me she loved her students. No matter what they do, she will never get to see her unborn child and it hurts. I know it’s going to be hard for her to meet my unborn son and look at other peoples babies while she has lost her own. She is a great mom to her son and just wanted to build her family…”
It is obvious that Ms. Batista genuinely cares about her students. Even though she is hurting, she chose her students’ lives and futures over retribution for her pain and loss.
But while noble, do you think she made the wrong decision? Should these kids pay for what happened?
I see nothing “noble” about it. How would she explain why it’s wrong to kill her unborn baby while the school system encourages students to kill their own unborn babies? If an unborn child isn’t a child, then… Get it? Her credibility would be shot.
Thanks for posting this touching story. I do think she did the right thing and I do find it noble. As a culture, I feel we are much too focused on punishment and on the insistence that someone must pay for what is, so many times, simply a tragic accident. We’re willing to arrest six-year-olds, try 12-year-olds as adults, lock young people up for life. There’s a lust for punishment in our culture that I find deeply disturbing. I admire this teacher’s actions and values. Brava!
“She decided that the danger of these boys ending up in the criminal justice system was far bigger a tragedy than the death of her unborn child”
That has to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. If these little SOBs ended up killing my unborn child, they wouldn’t have to worry about ending up in the criminal justice system. I’d take justice into my own hands.
So what did the teens learn? They learned that unborn children have no value. Pitiful!