March 16, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga.---A 13-year-old Murphey Middle School student says his assistant principal put him in a chokehold and slammed him to the ground, all because he was running in the halls.
News 12 talked to the student's mother. She says the alleged violence earlier this week was unnecessary, and her son has been withdrawn since it happened.
The mother doesn't want to be identified, to protect her 13-year-old son.
"I feel excessive force was used...and he didn't have to put his hands anywhere near his neck," she said.
The incident report filed with the sheriff's department says her son was running down the hall, which is against the rules.
But she says assistant principal Douglas Jackson's punishment does not fit the crime.
"He grabbed him around his neck and threw him on the ground, then had one hand on his head and one knee in his back," the mother said.
Then the report says the school public safety officer kneed the student in the back and put him in handcuffs.
"He's got bruises all over his neck," the mother said. "He's got bruises from the handcuffs. He has a large scratch on his face, and he has bruises on his chest and back."
We stopped by Richmond County Internal Affairs for their side of the story. They say they can't comment.
The Professional Standards Commission's Code of Ethics says educators should always maintain a professional relationship with all students.
It goes on to say any act of child abuse is a violation.
This mother says it happened here, and now she worries about her child's safety.
"When he gets on the school bus in the morning, he becomes their child...and I want to make sure when he goes to school, he's treated fairly."
She says fair treatment may require a transfer to a different school...which she's working on right now.
In addition to Internal Affairs, we tried to contact Associate Superintendent James Thompson, the school board, and the assistant principal. So far, they have not called us back.