Parents of a fourth-grader in Chicago are suing their local elementary school after they allege a security guard forced their child to go outside without a coat. The suit also alleges that the child had been bullied since starting school and the school did nothing to stop it.
Though school officials claim the child ran outside on his own volition, video footage shows the security guard threw the nine-year-old out of the school. The video further shows that the boy was outside for about 30 minutes without a coat in 40-degree weather. The lawsuit alleges the school lied about the incident.
In addition to suing the school, the lawsuit was filed against the City of Chicago and the Chicago Board of Education, as well as the school’s principal, counselor and security, according to WGN9 and CNN.
The suit, which does not name the boy, was filed against the above for excessive force, unreasonable seizure, intentional infliction of emotional distress and creating a hostile educational environment, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The family’s attorney, Dan Herbert told reporters at a press conference that the school knew the child had no coat when he “sat outside in the cold, with a Polo shirt on, for 30 minutes, scared, traumatized and freezing.”
A police officer arrived on the scene and found the boy distraught and trying to get back in the school, only to find the doors locked, Hebert said. The boy’s grandfather, a Chicago Police Officer, arrived to get the boy after receiving a call from the school. His wife, the boy’s grandmother, works for the Chicago Public Schools as a safety and security officer. Both were appalled at the incident.
The incident allegedly occurred after a fight during recess. The boy’s mother told the Chicago Sun-Times that he did not start the fight.
Hebert and the boy’s family shared a video of the incident with reporters. It shows the security guard yanking the child into the main office and putting him through the front door without a coat. Hebert also claims that the principal and school counselor “created a barrier” to stop the boy from coming back inside.
The family had reported the fact that their son was being bullied, but the school did nothing about it. The school allegedly told them that they “couldn’t control the other students” and that they were “annoyed” that the boy “didn’t fit in better,’ according to WGN9.
The security guard has since been let go from his position.
Since the incident, the child has transferred to a new school where he is much happier, according to his family.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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