A principal allegedly locked an autistic student outside his elementary school in cold weather, then suspended him. And now the student’s mother is looking for answers.
According to Dec. 14th security footage from Springbrook Elementary School in Kent, Washington, and published by KIRO 7, 11-year-old JaMar Taylor wandered outside after principal Ashlie Short allegedly locked him out, securing every door to the building.
JaMar roamed the school’s basketball court and the parking lot, at one point passing an adult who ignored him. One teacher — allegedly a special-education instructor — even closed a window. After 15 minutes, a friend of JaMar opened the school door and he returned to his classroom.
Mom JaVohn Perry, 34, was allegedly told her son pushed and cursed at the principal, then left the building because he was upset by a change in his schedule — and that Short had felt “imminent danger” as a result of his behavior.
“The principal didn’t say anything to me about locking him out,” Perry tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “My son said he was kicked out after he tried using the bathroom and the principal wouldn’t allow him.”
The boy said he didn’t push his principal. “JaMar tried moving past her to use the restroom and she blocked his way so his body bumped into hers,” Perry tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Perry wasn’t informed of the lock-out until she requested to view the school’s surveillance video during a Dec. 17th meeting with Short. “First, she wouldn’t answer me, but admitted to locking the doors because she felt threatened,” she says. “She was smirking at me.”
The mom says a portion of the footage that shows teachers laughing at her son when he re-entered the building was blurred out by the school. She has requested an unedited version as evidence for her newly-hired attorney.
According to a report filed with the Kent Police Department and sent to Yahoo Lifestyle by Perry, Short told police that she and a teacher were assaulted by JaMar and that she performed a “modified lockdown” to protect other students and to avoid physically restraining him. Short also claimed JaMar was watched for the 12 minutes he remained outside the school, and that he threw rocks and cones at the building.
“We want the district to retract the suspension from JaMar’s record and offer educational programming to make up for the days he missed,” Perry tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “The districted admitted that he shouldn’t have been suspended because the principal escalated his behavior.”
But JaMar is no longer a student at Springbrook Elementary. “He’s worried about starting over in a new school,” Perry tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “We’re trying to find the right place for him.”
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