Parents air grievances against MPS after student dragged by hair

The aide has since been suspended

MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Several parents publicly aired their grievances against Milwaukee Public Schools Thursday after alleged incidents within the schools prompted concerns for student safety.

The district, however, said it has worked with families on these complaints, and that in most cases, the incident didn't occur as first alleged.

"Everyone that witnessed it, their faces were in shock," said Melissa Jones.

Jones is referring to an incident that happened Tuesday, April 25 around noon at Gaenslen School. According to Jones, her 7-year-old daughter, Mariah Tomas, was kicked out of a classroom for being disruptive, then dragged by her hair down the hall by a teacher's assistant. Jones said her daughter was humiliated and suffered a sore scalp as a result of the incident.

"The teacher admitted in his statement that it was something he learned from his mother," Jones said.

"[He said] it's a form of tai chi. That's martial arts on a first grader," she continued.

According to MPS, the school followed standard protocol. The teacher's aide was suspended and a police report was filed. In a statement a spokesperson for MPS said:

The district attorney's office declined to issue charges because it could not prove the individual intended to cause the victim harm.

However, the family doesn't want the aide back in a classroom, and has since hired an attorney.

"The issue is whether or not MPS was aware of this guy's tendency to use that kind of aggressive move," said Walter Stern, the family's attorney.

"I don't know that now," he continued.

According to MPS, the teacher's aide involved in this incident has been suspended without pay. The District Attorney's Office also confirmed its willingness to meet with the family and discuss the incident further.

 

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