A 13-year-old student allegedly injured during an altercation with a teacher at the Edgewood Student Services Center a month ago was taken home in a Muscogee County school bus without contacting his parents and remains hospitalized after multiple surgeries on a severely injured leg, an attorney for the young man’s family says.
Renee Y. Tucker, an attorney with Forrest B. Johnson & Associates — a law firm based in Columbus, Atlanta and Macon — says she has sent a letter serving notice on the school system that the family of the student may file a suit in a case she calls “tragic.”
The male student was enrolled in the A.I.M. Program, an alternative education program whose slogan is “Enter with a past — leave with a future.” It is based in the former Edgewood Elementary School site on Forest Road.
In her letter to the school district, Tucker asked for pertinent information on what went on in the classroom on Sept. 12, including a security video. The attorney has been told that a third party has already filed a Freedom of Information (FOI) request on the incident.
UPDATE: Contacted by Muscogee.All On Georgia, Valerie Fuller of the Muscogee County School District offered an 11-word response. “The District respectfully declines to comment on pending or threatened litigation,” she said.
The student previously attended East Columbus Magnet Academy and was referred to the A.I.M. program under an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) designed to provide “specialized instruction and related services.”
Tucker provides this description of what happened:
During class, the student said he wanted to go to the office and call his mother. A teacher said no, but the youngster started for the door anyway. According to the lawyer’s report, the adult yanked the student to the floor. The student escaped twice and was taken down both times. On the third time, the student began to scream, saying his leg was hurt.
He was put on a sofa or chair that was in the room and at some point an assistant principal arrived. Instead of calling the student’s mother or 911, he was put on a bus and taken home.When his mother saw the severity of her son’s injury, she took him to a local hospital. Doctors there said he needed additional care and he was airlifted to Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta. He has been hospitalized there for the past 31 days.
According to the lawyer, the boy suffered a broken leg, permanent nerve damage and an injured knee cap. Over the past month, he has been operated on four times and in the future may need additional surgeries plus rounds of physical therapy.
Tucker is concerned that the teacher put his hands on the teen and reportedly manhandled him.
“The use of physical restraint is very clearly covered in state protocol,” she said. She also points out that in such circumstances parents should have been called before the injured student was moved. She also questions the use of a school bus to take him home.
No law suit has been filed at this time.