Security footage from a Detroit high school released earlier this week showed the school’s assistant principal dealing with a 14-year-old student by bodyslamming him to the ground, before the boy’s jaw was broken by a school resource officer he allegedly talked back to.
According to a report from NBC News, the incident took place in October, when West Side Academy High School freshman Elijah Wynn had gone home from school, not knowing at the time that he left his wallet on campus grounds. When Elijah returned to school to retrieve his wallet, he was allegedly accosted by the assistant principal, who asked the boy to leave the building, then bodyslammed him to the ground, per the Wynn family’s lawyer, Jonathan Marko.
Marko added that Wynn then “mouthed off” to one of West Side Academy’s resource officers, who reportedly responded by punching him in the face and breaking his jaw in the process. This part of the altercation was not captured on camera, but Marko pointed out that there were several seconds missing from the surveillance footage. As such, he believes that the video might have been edited by district officials, as it’s unusual for these clips to skip ahead by so many seconds.
“Seventeen, 18, 19 – then it jumps to 31, and the 10 most relevant seconds of the video is missing,” said Marko, as quoted by Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV.
The incident happened nine months ago and early in the recently concluded 2017-18 academic year. Elijah Wynn’s mother, Ronnita Bryant, recently sued the Detroit Public Schools Community District, making her the third person represented by Marko who sued a Michigan school district after school officials and other staff members allegedly abused and injured their children.
Student says he was body slammed by principal: Detroit Public Schools is facing a lawsuit after a student said he was slammed to the ground by an assistant principal. https://t.co/uPicxNnmqQ— Black Cyn/New River (@BCNRNews) July 7, 2018
As further noted by NBC News, the other lawsuits both describe similar incidents where a young child actually, or nearly lost a finger after a teacher slammed a door against their hand; these include one involving a 7-year-old boy studying in the Detroit Public Schools Community District, and another involving an 8-year-old girl who goes to school in the nearby Hazel Park School District. One of the plaintiffs, Camilla Barnes, claims that her 7-year-old son had tried to re-enter the classroom after being sent out, only to be met by a “frustrated” teacher who slammed the door against the boy’s hand.
While neither of the districts in question were available to comment on the situation when probed by NBC News, the Detroit Public Schools Community District issued a statement to WDIV, which directly addressed the incident where Elijah Wynn was allegedly bodyslammed by his assistant principal.
“The district has not been served with a lawsuit regarding this issue so we are unaware of the specifics regarding the claim. We will investigate the matter at that time and determine our position and response. The video in question relates to a student who was not authorized to enter the school and was repeatedly asked to leave by several school officials,” read the statement.