Dad handcuffed after arguing with school officials over daughter's dress code violation

Hope Schreiber
Waymon Arms, 40, was taken into custody after causing a scene at his 16-year-old daughter's high school after she was suspended for violating the dress code. (Photo: Metro Nashville Police Department)
Waymon Arms, 40, was taken into custody after causing a scene at his 16-year-old daughter's high school following her suspension for violating the dress code. (Photo: Metro Nashville Police Department)

A Nashville father was put into a chokehold by school resource officers after he and his 16-year-old daughter refused to leave her high school. The incident, which stemmed from an argument regarding the dress code, was partially captured on video.

According to Metro Nashville police department, Waymon Arms Jr., 40, and his daughter entered Stratford High School on Monday after the 16-year-old student was suspended on Friday for a dress code violation.

It is unclear how the student violated the dress code, but according to the school's website, students must wear white, black, or gray shirts with a collar and khaki or black pants, skirts, or shorts. The Metro Nashville Public School student handbook's discipline table shows that a dress code violation would not result in out-of-school suspension or expulsion.

When the student was asked to leave by school personnel, both she and her father left the office, with the teen continuing towards classrooms instead of the exit. The father and daughter then began to argue with school officials and refused to leave, despite multiple requests.

"It was at this point that School Resource Officers George Patonis and Akira McSwain attempted to intervene," the Metro Nashville police department said in a statement provided to Yahoo Lifestyle. "After repeated requests for Arms and his daughter to leave were ignored, Officer Patonis attempted to arrest him. Arms resisted arrest for about four minutes during which he went to the ground and placed both of his arms under his body, presumably to avoid being handcuffed."

During the struggle, Officer Patonis "briefly had his arm at Arms' neck," which is captured on video. The teenager also allegedly kicked Officer McSwain and administrative personnel. Eventually, both Arms and the teenager were taken into custody.

Arms reported no injuries to an intake nurse at the Metro jail. He was charged with disorderly conduct, criminal trespassing, and resisting arrest. He is currently free on a $1,500 bond.

Arms' 16-year-old daughter was charged in Juvenile Court with two counts of assault against school administrators, two counts of assault against police, disorderly conduct, and trespassing.

"A use-of-force review will be conducted concerning Officer Patonis’ actions," the police department said in the statement. "He is a 25-year MNPD veteran who has been working with students and staff at Stratford High School for the past 16 years."

Representatives for Stratford High School and Metro Nashville Public Schools did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.

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