Charter school teacher suspended after allegations of slamming student, knocking out tooth
Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) – A teacher at Rochester Exploration Elementary Charter School for Science & Technology has been suspended.
He’s accused of slamming a 6-year-old student, Marlon K’Harii Williams, to the ground, knocking out his front tooth.
"There's not a moment that he doesn't want me in his sight now," said Kia Thompson-White, K’Harii’s mom. “It’s shouldn’t be like that. He used to love going to school.”
The first grader now sits home as his mother works to enroll him into another school. Thompson-White documented her son’s injuries and said she plans to pursue criminal charges.
"There's no reason for you to have to use that amount of force with my kid, anybody else kid," she said.
On Friday, Thompson-White received a startling text message from her grandmother while at work.
"My grandmother texts me and says, 'We have to go to school at 4 p.m., they're saying K'Harii was misbehaving and the teacher had to restrain him knocking his tooth out.' I immediately left."
Mom said her son has challenges verbally expressing himself, and that she made the school aware of it.
"In dealing with him, you have to understand more of body language, behaviors, things like that," she explained.
On that particular day, Thompson-White said K'Harii was alone in a classroom with the gym teacher. It’s unclear as to why.
“I got in trouble,” said K’Harii. “And he slammed me down on the floor and my tooth got knocked out."
K’Harii he was upset and started flipping chairs and yelling. Thompson-White said then other administrators and teachers held him down, believing the student was a danger to himself or others, then, sent him to the nurse’s office.
“She said, 'Oh, let’s blow your nose, let’s get something on your lips,' and she said that’s when she seen the blood,” Thompson-White said.
K’Harii had a cut to upper lip and a missing tooth. His mom said doctors then had to pull his other front tooth because it became loose.
"I try not even think about it, honestly, because it makes you so mad that somebody would take the time to do something like that to my son," she said.
Thompson-White filed a police report, and she plans to press criminal charges.
She's also claims neither the school nor the teacher contacted her directly about the incident.
Thompson-White said she didn't rule out that this could have been an accident.
“Honestly, I’m a fair person,” she said. “I went to talk to the school first, even though they didn’t notify me. I went and talked to my son, and then came back and talked to them again, because there’s always their side, your side and there’s the truth, and there has to be a middle somewhere. But because you didn’t have the respect to come and face me and say, ‘You know what? He slipped, I kind of did grab him too hard,' maybe it could have been handled differently.”
K'Harii will now attend a new school. His mom tries to sweeten up with a cupcake to ease what she calls a traumatic experience.
"I sent him there to not worry about what's going to happen to him at school,” she said. “That's the one place you shouldn't have to worry about what's going to happen to your kid."
In a statement, the school’s CEO, Lisa Clark, said: “I'm deeply concerned about the student who was in our care and was injured. As soon as the alleged incident was reported to us, we took immediate action. We have responded in accordance with our school policies and placed the staff member involved on administrative leave. Our purpose is to cultivate and care for the children in our keep. We take any matter involving the safety and security of our children very seriously and intend to understand what happened so that we can prevent it from happening again.”