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Teacher disciplined after writing 'stupid' on student's forehead

LIVINGSTON, Tenn. -- A first-year teacher from Overton County may lose his job after writing the word "stupid" across a student’s forehead with permanent marker, a district official told WSMV-TV in Nashville.

The math teacher has been suspended indefinitely, Matt Eldridge, director of the Overton County Schools, told the NBC television station.

"We're here to help the children and not to hurt them," Eldridge said, adding "One word can break a child. I mean, I've got three children. I wouldn't want it done to mine."

Read complete coverage from WSMV.com

The incident happened last week at Allons Elementary, where a student asked a question and the teacher responded by writing on the child’s forehead in front of his classmates, Eldridge told the TV station. The teacher also wrote the word "stupid" backward on the student's forehead, so he'd be able to read it when he saw himself in the mirror, he said.

"The teacher said, 'I was trying to joke with him,' and of course, I said, 'That’s not the way you joke with anyone,'" Eldridge said.

Allons Elementary is a K-8 school with a few hundred students just outside Livingston.

"It's kind of one of those mistakes that's hard to correct," Eldridge said.

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