Womenz Magazine

VIDEO: Arizona School Administrator Faces Criticism for Student Restraint Incident

school fight
Photo: ABC15 Arizona / YouTube

A disturbing incident involving a school administrator and an elementary school student in Arizona has ignited controversy and calls for change. The Laveen Elementary School District is now grappling with the fallout from an incident caught on surveillance cameras at the Vista Del Sur Accelerated Academy.

During a press conference on Thursday, Danielle Jordan, the mother of the student involved in the incident, expressed her demand for change, saying, “We need some change. I demand that you get somebody who cares up in here,” as she shared her side of the story.

The incident, captured on surveillance footage, shows a 10-year-old student from Vista Del Sur Accelerated Academy and a former Laveen Elementary School District administrator. According to Jordan, the student was pulled by his clothes, choked with his shirt, and forcefully slammed against a wall as he entered the administrator’s office.

The Laveen Elementary School District offered a different narrative, describing it as an “improper restraint” when the administrator grabbed the boy’s arm and shoulder. In a press release, the district stated that the administrator had been summoned to the school to assist with the student. During the escort to the in-school detention room, the administrator apparently believed the student was attempting to leave the campus. The incident was discussed during the governing board’s meeting on Thursday evening.

Jill Barragan, a member of the Laveen Elementary School District governing board, stated, “We acknowledge that the holds used in the video are not appropriate, and we do not condone such conduct. Our staff members undergo training for holds and will continue to undergo training.”

During the meeting, the governing board allowed for public comment, leading to chants from parents who wanted to allocate their speaking time to the boy’s mother. Eventually, the board granted her 30 minutes to speak. Jordan expressed her frustration, saying, “What hurts is that you didn’t take the time to call me; you didn’t take the time to apologize.”

The district claimed that they had repeatedly attempted to meet with the parent through her attorney and a community advocate to seek a resolution. The Phoenix Police Department is still investigating the matter, with staff participating in interviews during the past week.

Jill Barragan emphasized, “Throughout this process, we have maintained open lines of communication with the family… and we want to emphasize that the employee is no longer with the district.”

However, Jordan stated that she had only recently learned about the employee’s departure, prompting her to speak out for policy changes, the introduction of case managers and counselors in schools instead of police officers, and mandates for training.

The student now attends a different school. Questions directed at the superintendent were redirected to the communications director, who referred to the press release. Dr. Torrence Watkins, another member of the Laveen Elementary School District governing board, expressed reservations about passing judgment without the full context, saying, “I’m not feeling too good about it. But again, I don’t know that, you know, we see a video, we don’t hear any audio, we don’t hear a lot of backstory. We, like I said, as a board member, I’m going to look at the whole picture and do what’s best for our kids.”

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