A Dayton, Ohio school employee has been caught on video chasing and assaulting a non-verbal three-year-old boy with autism. The horrifying 17-second clip, which shows the employee hitting the child on the head, knocking him to the ground, and then carrying him upside down by his ankles, was released by the boy's parents. The incident occurred on August 21st at Rosa Parks Early Learning school, but what preceded and followed the event remains unknown. The parents are demanding answers from the Dayton Public School District, claiming that officials were not forthcoming about the severity of the incident.
According to Taneshia Lindsay, the boy's mother, the district initially informed her that her son, Braylen, had been "swatted on the back of his head" by a school employee. However, after receiving the video three weeks later, Lindsay said it was much worse than what she was initially told. She expressed her shock and disbelief during a press conference, stating that her son "wasn't doing anything wrong" and did not deserve to be treated in such a violent manner. She questioned why the employee did not handle her son more gently, suggesting that the incident constituted assault.
The employee, a paraprofessional or teacher's aide, has not been publicly identified. He was placed on administrative leave immediately following the incident but has since resigned "in lieu of termination," according to the Dayton school district. The district claims that they contacted Human Resources, the Department of Safety and Security, and the Ohio Department of Education to open an investigation as soon as they viewed the video. They have also stated that additional measures will be taken to ensure that employees are properly trained and qualified.
The parents, however, feel that the district has lied to them and failed to provide them with the full video. Their lawyer, Michael Wright, accused the school of keeping the family in the dark and called for transparency and accountability. The family is contemplating legal action and wants the employee arrested. They claim that the delayed release of the video prevented them from getting their son immediate medical care.
Concerns over the incident extend beyond the 17-second video. The boy's father, Robert Tootle, expressed his worry about a missing part of the video and why his son was running in the first place. The district and the Montgomery County Prosecutors are now conducting investigations to uncover the full story and determine if any charges will be filed.
Dr. David Lawrence, the Superintendent of Dayton Public Schools, issued statements expressing the district's commitment to student safety and their gratitude for the support of the families. He also announced that a meeting with Rosa Parks Early Learning families will be held early next week. The family, although deeply disturbed by the incident, has not yet made plans to remove Braylen from the school, as long as the district respects and protects their child. The parents emphasized that their priority is to ensure a safe school environment for all learners.
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