The mother of a child who was slammed into a wall by the school’s assistant principal, released a video hoping to prove her son was victimized by the official. The mom said originally, she was told her child fell and bumped his head but discovered the true story weeks later. After she posted the video recently, the district offered her thousands of dollars to remove it, she says.
Tatiana Alfano said she decided to share the video of her son Quintin Proctor, 14, being assaulted by a Round Rock ISD GOALS Learning Center staffer, after she secured an attorney to represent her child’s interest and was unhappy with the response from the school regarding the altercation, according to KXAN.
The incident happened on Friday, Apr. 29, and at the time she says she was told a completely different story than the video tells.
GOALS administrators, who specialize in working with students with special needs and the disability of emotional disturbance, called and emailed the mother, informing her that something happened to her son.
The email said, her son was “yelling at the teacher and using profanity directed at the teacher,” and “staff moved him back toward the cool-down room. He fell and hit his head.”
Alfano said to FOX 7, “I was going to follow through with that with the consequences here at home, but Quintin was pretty insistent, like, ‘No, you don’t understand. He threw me into a wall, Mom.’”
Proctor himself said he was removed from his classroom that day.
He also confirmed that he was being defiant with two female teachers. The teachers placed him in the “cool down room,” hoping he would compose himself.
According to Stages Learning, a cool down space “is intended to serve all students in the classroom. It takes different forms depending on the classroom, school, and teacher but is usually a comfortable, somewhat private seating area in a corner of the classroom.”
The space is used to empower students to participate in their own “behavior management and social-emotional development,” giving them tools to equalize how they are feeling in the school setting and to process how disruptive behavior is not acceptable in the classroom.
The teenager attends the school because has been classified as having an emotional disturbance.
According to the state of Texas, a child with this classification exhibits “an inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers and inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances,” among others. These children have also been evaluated and recommended: “for behavioral support and interventions.”
Despite his classification, Proctor was able to detail his understanding of what happened that day.
“When I got there, I was pretty calm. I just had my leg on the wall and those teachers I was OK with, and then, after they had put me in there, Mr. Thomas had come in,” he said. Proctor said Jacob Thomas, the assistant principal of his school, took over for the two teachers, excusing them from the cool down room. Proctor says he believed he was also excused.
However, when he got up to follow the other students out, Thomas tossed him back into the room.
“When I hit the wall, I didn’t really know what to think,” the boy said. “Like my mind just kind of went blank.”
The mother listened to both stories and requested to see the video of the incident. It took two weeks before the school shared the footage with the mother.
Alfano said, “[the video] validated everything he said.”
On the hallway surveillance video, Proctor is seen attempting to push past two female teachers to get back into the classroom. Both teachers grab him by his arms and proceed to escort him to the cool-down room.
Another video shows the boy leaning on the wall of the cool-down room with his arms crossed. The two teachers stand at the door until Thomas walks over. Then they leave.
The student seems to believe this is a signal for him to leave also, but Thomas grabs him back and throws him back into the room and the boy hits his head on the classroom wall.
The school report on the incident says Proctor spit at Thomas after hitting his head. However, the video shows the child gesturing his fist as if to punch the administrators, but he never lands a hit.
The boy is then held back by two school workers, including Thomas, for four minutes. While he is being restrained, he screams, “I hate it here.”
The mother contacted the school district and they said they conducted an investigation but did not fire the staffer.
A spokesperson said, “The District’s investigation is complete. The staff member is still employed but not assigned to GOALS Learning Center. He is currently working on administrative projects at the district’s Central Office.”
Unsatisfied with the district’s actions, she notified the Department of Family and Protective Services to complete their own investigation. To Alfano’s dismay, the agency returned with a similar opinion, where it “ruled out” claiming “it was reasonable to conclude that the alleged abuse and neglect did not occur.”
“Common sense says, ‘hey, this is abuse.’ I don’t know anybody who’s seen that video and doesn’t say, ‘hey, this isn’t child abuse,'” Alfano laments.
Now, she and her son want to get his story out to the masses, and sharing other families with similar experiences has stepped forward to stand with them. Alfano said,
“What happened with Quintin isn’t all that unique or special or rare. It’s just that we happen to have footage of it because these things are generally happening behind closed doors, so now it’s grown, it’s bigger. We need to do right by all the children. This shouldn’t be happening.”
After she published the video on social media, shes says the school district reached out to her lawyer offering $10,000 to take it down, with a caveat that in addition to deleting the video, she sign a nondisclosure agreement. Alfano says she declined their offer.
The Texas Education Agency is now investigating Thomas, releasing a statement about the status of the case.
“TEA can confirm that the educator in question currently has an investigatory flag on their certificate,” a spokesperson said. “Since the matter remains ongoing, we cannot comment further at this time.”