A teacher from Robert R. Church Elementary School in Shelby County is under investigation for violently dragging a 7-year-old boy off a school bus after stopping a scuffle among students.
The incident, which went from bad to worse, happened on April 12 and was recorded on video. The teacher yanked the boy from his seat by the ankles as the child cried out, "Get your hands off me!"
Apparently, picking up a child like a normal disciplinarian was not an option for the unnamed teacher. In the video, he grabbed the uncooperative boy and dragged him upside down with his head dragging across the school bus floor.
The student continued to struggle as he cried out for his mother. The other students shrunk in their seats, looking on in fear.
Local news in Memphis, Tennessee, identified the mother of the boy as Kimberly Hardin, who claimed she didn't believe her son's accounts of the incident until 24 hours later when another parent contacted her and showed actual footage from the school bus.
Another parent of a child at the school contacted me Friday evening, and she said she had video of the teacher dragging my soon of the school bus. Her son recorded it.
They said he had bruises and a concussion. Because of the way he was dragged, he hit his head. I feel bad. I didn't believe my child.
Twitter users also seemed upset that the boy's mother didn't believe her son.
@ajplus Whats making me even more mad is the fact that his mom didn’t believe him— Dani❤️ (@Dani❤️)1524191441.0
@chrissy_cpt @buttermytoast_ @bluecornerstor @ajplus Especially from ya kid. Plus he had bruises AND a concussion :… https://t.co/5E84ORGsHM— milkshake🦕 (@milkshake🦕)1524196606.0
@bluecornerstor @ajplus The Mom might have thought he was exaggerating, is all. I just watched it, and I still cann… https://t.co/rpcIiOf6QM— Selena Hanuman 😒 ✨ (@Selena Hanuman 😒 ✨)1524200989.0
The disturbing footage riled the local community, including the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Memphis Baptist Minsters Association President, Rev. Walter Womack.
I think he should be held accountable for his actions. He`s a grown man and he knows better.
@Michael2014abc @Cooperfam2018 @ajplus I mean I’m sure there’s been plenty of educators that have handled similar s… https://t.co/Guc5ua9ls5— 🌑 (@🌑)1524194818.0
The unidentified employee is under investigation and was placed on leave, according to a statement from a representative of Shelby County.
An employee from Robert R. Church Elementary is being investigated based on reports of forcibly removing a student from a bus while breaking up a fight last week
The safety of our students is always our top priority. This incident was immediately reported to the appropriate authorities, and it remains under investigation. The employee in question has been removed from the school while the matter is being investigated.
@ajplus Why is the teacher on leave and not in jail??? https://t.co/VAExi7baSC— 🎆imannn🎆 (@🎆imannn🎆)1524193251.0
@ajplus The way that teacher would’ve caught these hands! He could’ve easily picked him up and placed him in anothe… https://t.co/oRWLWiKm8i— Cynthia Colas (@Cynthia Colas)1524190835.0
Shelby County School officials said the employee could face punishment — possibly termination — if the child sustained severe injuries.
The school didn't inform Hardin about the bus incident until the footage was released, and she was informed that the teacher stopped the brawl before the video started recording. She told school officials that her son was not a part of the fight.
Meanwhile, her son was understandably traumatized and said he doesn't want to return to school.
@ajplus Please someone touch my child like that.... and see what happens... https://t.co/xbX1CstRKw— Sumera (@Sumera)1524191549.0