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Florida School Monitor Arrested After Roughing Up Student for Using the N-Word In Viral Video

A video of a Black school monitor lifting a student in the air by his neck and pushing him several times at a Kissimmee, Florida, school, has gone viral. 

The teen allegedly used the N-word in earshot of the newly hired aide. Despite the minor’s use of the racial epithet, community stakeholders say the violence perpetrated by the adult was not appropriate. Parents of the teen have started the process of pressing charges.

According to WESH 2, Chris Ferguson, a Tohopekaliga High School employee, was charged with one count of child abuse without great bodily harm for roughing up the student. This crime is considered a felony in the third degree in the state of Florida.

Footage of the incident, captured by cellphone and circulated on social media, did not capture what happened before the assault.

Ferguson, who was recently hired by the school on March 28, was arrested, according to WKMG Orlando. 

Witnesses told law enforcement the incident happened a little before 3 p.m. and Ferguson overheard the conversation using the derogatory word while the kids were on in-house suspension. The adult approached the young person and told him “He could not speak like that.”

A deputy’s report of the incident from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office states Ferguson spoke to the teen before the class was over, but upon dismissal, heard him say to his girlfriend that he was “in (his) feelings.”

This was the alleged trigger prompting the monitor’s violent response.

Deputies say an initial investigation claims the 26-year-old snatched the student “by the shirt and neck and lifted him up to the ceiling, leaving red marks over his neck and chest area.” Moments later, Ferguson slammed the boy to the floor.

The video showed the school employee continuing after the child, shoving him. A female student tries to get Ferguson off of her schoolmate, saying, “Get the (expletive) away,” as the boy yells to his friends, “I ain’t no little n**ga.”

The teen was escorted to the school’s nurse after the assault, however, an official notation of his injuries has not been disclosed. The child’s race also has been shielded from the public.

Officials revealed the boy’s mother was contacted about the assault and opted to press charges. Additionally, authorities reached out to the Department of Children and Families.

Detectives also said surveillance video from the school and photographs of the incident have been entered as evidence against Ferguson. A parent spoke to News 6 about the incident saying everyone “has to be conscious of what they are saying,” but still said the incident was “concerning” to her.

“I don’t think at any time it is appropriate to put your hands on a child,” the mother said. “I will say that we are in the current situation where like racial tensions are very high.”

Ferguson has bonded out of the Osceola County jail and resigned from his position with the school, clocking in only one week on the job.

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