A 7-year-old Florida girl has reported being bullied at school, saying her perpetrator was not another student but her teacher. Her mother has hired a lawyer and plans to sue the school district after hearing about the teacher’s alleged abuse and spotting bruises, believed to be from the incident, on her daughter’s body.
The teacher, a white woman whose name has been redacted from the police report obtained by the Miami New Times, has served the Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) for over 45 years.
On Sept. 29, 2021, Amaria Clark, a former student at the Airbase K-8 Center School in Homestead, Florida told her mother that her teacher impeded her from getting on the school bus by gripping her wrist so forcefully that it left a mark.
Witnesses, including Clark’s older brother, saw the teacher pull the little Black girl down the bus steps and publicly accuse her of stealing a cellphone.
Adah Clark, the victim’s mother, says she was made aware of the incident after the children came home. She said, “When my child gets off the bus, other children were all around me, telling me what happened. It didn’t make sense, but by the time I got to Amaria, her arms told it all.”
The mother took the girl to the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s urgent-care unit and reported the assault to the Miami-Dade County Police Department (MDPD). In their report, the police write that they observed red bruises on the child’s hands and wrists also.
“Once the doctor came back and had to wrap her little wrist, I just broke,” the mother added. “She went from doing cartwheels up and down to now having to rest her hand on a pillow because it hurt.”
The family claims that Amaria suffered a sprained arm as a result of this assault and is now in a sling.
According to CBS 4, the family plans to file a federal lawsuit. Clark told a reporter, “I sent her to school, the way I send her to school is the way I expect her to come back.”
Clark described her adopted daughter as “loving,” “sweet,” and “kind.” She further noted that the girl, who is also developmentally delayed, is not “an evil child” or “vicious child.”
Lawyers representing the family say that the teacher’s actions were in retaliation for telling school officials that she was mistreated in the class.
The Miami New Times reports that Amaria has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for students who learn differently and need different tools to be successful in the classroom.
The mother claims that the teacher would not allow the second-grader to go to the bathroom— because she believed the girl was lying. The teacher did not regard Amaria’s medical records that state her being under the care of a urologist for four years about issues concerning her bladder.
The administration removed the girl from the classroom, transferring her to a different teacher shortly before the incident. Lawyers contend this is motive for why she grabbed the girl from the bus and accused her of stealing. Now, the child is even more scared of the teacher.
Attorney Rawsi Williams says no child should be afraid that their teacher should retaliate.
“No child should have to go to school worried about what will happen to them in regard to teachers and administrators,” Williams remarked.
Williams also alleges in the lawsuit, filed on behalf of the family, Amaria’s 14th Amendment Due Process and Equal Protection Claims have been violated. The teacher’s actions were also a “violation of the American With Disabilities Act, assault & battery, false imprisonment, displayed negligence, and infliction of emotional and physical distress on the child.”
The school district released a statement saying the teacher did nothing wrong, “These are serious allegations that were thoroughly investigated as soon as they were first reported. The investigation was concluded with a finding of no probable cause.”
Another attorney for the family, Frank Allen, says that no investigation has cleared the teacher.
“There was no clearing,” Allen rebutted. “Once we get a chance to depose officials at the school, the teacher, and some of these students, then we’ll see if she’s cleared.”
The mother has transferred her daughter to a different school and plans to sue the teacher, assistant principal, principal, and anyone else responsible for the trauma her daughter experienced at the school.
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