An Atlanta Public Schools teacher has been placed on leave as the district investigates allegations he slammed a 12-year-old student against a wall, Channel 2 Action News reported.
The incident occurred last Thursday at John Lewis Invictus Academy in northwest Atlanta, the student’s mother, Felicia Parks, told the news station.
In a letter sent to parents six days later, Principal Gregory Parks said the staff member has been removed from the school pending the outcome of an investigation by administrators, school police and the district’s employee relations office.
“I wanted to inform you of an allegation made by a parent concerning harmful behavior demonstrated by members of our school staff towards a student,” the letter reads. “We take this matter very seriously, and, as this is a personnel matter, are not at liberty to provide any additional information until the investigation is complete.”
The middle school student, identified as Kivonte Chapman, has since transferred after telling his mother he was traumatized by the incident and didn’t want to return, Parks told the news station.
Photos of Chapman appear to show scratches and bruises on the back of his neck that he said he sustained in the altercation.
“He turned me around. He put his nails in my neck and stuff and then he put me on the ground and put his knee in my back,” Chapman said.
District officials have not released the teacher’s name or said what subject he taught. It’s also unclear what happened leading up to last week’s incident at the school.
Parks told Channel 2 that her son has had some behavior issues in class this year, but she said that doesn’t justify an adult putting their hands on a 12-year-old.
“You had to be manhandling him for all (those) welts to be on him,” she said. “Y’all don’t have the right to put your hands on nobody’s kids.”
Parks said she received a phone call from an administrator at the school who told her there was video of the incident, but that video has not been released.
In other news:
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.