A 13-year-old student who said he was “thrown to the floor” multiple times by a teacher at Edgewood Student Services Center on Sept. 12 is expected to have his leg amputated today as a result of the alleged incident, according to his attorney.
Attorney Renee Tucker, who represents the boy and his mother, said the student is still being treated at the Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta. His family learned the news about the required amputation over the weekend.
“As anyone can anticipate there was certainly an emotional response,” said Tucker, who said the child will probably need counseling in addition to physical therapy. “I mean, the fact that now it’s led to an amputation just signifies the degree of force that was used with regard to our client, particularly (the teacher) body-slamming him three different times.”
Tucker said the mother also lost her job at a temporary agency, because she spent much of her time by her child’s side.
“As anyone can anticipate, it’s not the fault of any employer,” Tucker said. “But when you’re an employee and you’re not able to make it to work, you’re not able to maintain a position.”
She said the boy was enrolled in the Muscogee County School District’s AIM program when the incident reportedly happened. It’s an alternative school program for students who have been temporarily removed from their assigned school because of violations of behavior rules.
Tucker said the student, who was previously enrolled at East Columbus Middle School, was trying to leave the classroom and go to the main office so he could call his mother to pick him up.
That’s when the teacher stopped him for an unknown reason and slammed him to the floor to prevent him from leaving, Tucker said. The student said he was thrown to the floor a second time when he tried to leave again.
“I don’t think there’s any explanation that a teacher can give as to why he didn’t want him to go to the administrative office to call his mother,” the attorney said, who was hired two weeks after the alleged incident.
Edgewood Student Services Center coordinator Reginald Griffin referred all questions about the allegation to MCSD communications director Valerie Fuller.
“We extend our thoughts and prayers to our student who is undergoing medical treatment and to his family,” Fuller responded in an email sent to the Ledger-Enquirer this morning. “We are committed to conducting a thorough review of the alleged incident at the AIM Student Services Center to determine all of the facts.”
Tucker said school officials initially told the boy they would call an ambulance but decided against it later on.
The teacher who was reportedly involved then carried him to the school bus and sent him home without notifying his family, she said.
“They placed an injured student on the school bus,” said Tucker, who stated that her client told officials that his leg was numb, on Oct. 13.
Tucker said she submitted an open records request to the Muscogee County School’s board attorney on Sept. 26 requesting any video footage along with more than 50 documents. That includes records concerning the teacher’s training, the teacher and assistant principal’s personnel record, the rules and regulations for physically restraining students, policies for transporting students on school buses, and policies and procedures about rendering aid to students.
Tucker said she the school board’s attorney agreed to release the documents once they’ve been collected.
Tucker said they still plan to file a lawsuit based on how the student was reportedly restrained and the alleged absence of medical aid. She said the amount to be pursued has yet to be determined.
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