Florida teacher accused of assaulting special needs Black student
Amaria Clark suffered bruises on her hands and wrists and a sprained arm.
The mother of a 7-year-old Florida girl is taking legal action against the child’s school after a teacher allegedly physically assaulted the second-grader.
Amaria Clark, who is developmentally delayed, was a student at Airbase Elementary School in Homestead, Florida until her mother pulled her from class following the encounter with a teacher who has worked for Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) for 45 years, Miami New Times reports.
School officials said the teacher, who is white, had no prior disciplinary action but is accused of causing Amaria to injure her arm after yanking the girl off a school bus back in September.
Amaria was stepping onto the bus when the teacher grabbed her wrist and pulled her down the steps, accusing her of stealing a phone. The girl’s older brother was one of several students who witnessed the incident from the school bus.
“When my child gets off the bus, other children were all around me, telling me what happened. It didn’t make sense, but by the time I got to Amaria, her arms told it all,” said Adah Clark, the victim’s mother.
She described her adopted daughter as “loving,” “sweet,” and “kind.”
“She’s not an evil child, she’s not a vicious child,” she said.
“I was hurt. I’m still hurt,” she said. “I sent her to school, the way I send her to school is the way I expect her to come back.”
According to the family, Amaria suffered bruises on her hands and wrists and was treated at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital for a sprained arm.
“Once the doctor came back and had to wrap her little wrist, I just broke,” the mother added. “She went from doing cartwheels up and down to now having to rest her hand on a pillow because it hurt.”
Adah reported the assault to the Miami-Dade County Police Department (MDPD). The teacher’s name has reportedly been redacted from documents.
According to CBS 4, the family plans to file a federal lawsuit against the school district.
“To see Amaria boarding the bus home, come up from behind, swoop in on Amaria without any provocation, no warning, grab Amaria from behind, jerk her and yank her around to falsely accuse this little girl of stealing a cellphone, which there was no cellphone,” said the family’s attorney Rawsi Williams.
The family says that the teachers’ hostile actions were in retaliation for the girl reporting to school officials that she was mistreated in class.
Prior to the school bus incident, the mother claims the teacher would not acknowledge Amaria’s medical records concerning her bladder. After too many instances of the teacher refusing to let the little girl use the bathroom, Amaria was transferred to a different teacher. The family believes this is why the teacher pulled Amaria off the bus and accused her of stealing.
Williams alleges in the lawsuit that the teacher’s actions were a “violation of the American With Disabilities Act, assault & battery, false imprisonment, displayed negligence, and infliction of emotional and physical distress on the child.”
The school district defended the teacher in a statement: “These are serious allegations that were thoroughly investigated as soon as they were first reported. The investigation was concluded with a finding of no probable cause.”
Frank Allen, another attorney for the family, fired back: “There was no clearing. Once we get a chance to depose officials at the school, the teacher, and some of these students, then we’ll see if she’s cleared.
Clark has transferred her daughter to a different school.