Community protests after chokehold allegations at high school

Community protests after chokehold allegations at high school

PEMISCOT COUNTY, MO (KAIT) - Members of the Caruthersville community hosted a peaceful protest Friday afternoon in front of Caruthersville High School.

According to Caruthersville police, a student said a teacher put him in a chokehold.

It happened on March 23.

Caruthersville Superintendent J.J. Bullington said she is disappointed by the allegations.

"I don't condone it," Bullington said. "If I have a teacher that chokes a child or aggressively handles a child and it's not warranted, then we will take the necessary actions as a district."

Bullington said she was alerted about the alleged incident between the high school teacher and student shortly after it happened.

From there, the teacher was suspended as the school district began an internal investigation.

"Based on what we believe happened and through the witnesses, we do feel like the teacher overreacted to the situation and possibly could've handled it differently," Bullington said.

As the district wrapped up their investigation into the incident, the teacher was suspended for 5 days.

The teacher was allowed to return to work on Wednesday.

Bullington said the district completed their internal investigation, but investigations with the Division of Children's Services and Caruthersville police are ongoing.

Caruthersville Police Chief Tony Jones said his department is expected to wrap up their investigation by Monday.

"We'll be sending everything, once the investigation is complete to the Pemiscot County prosecuting attorney and let him make the decision if any charges at all will be filed against anyone," Jones said.

Loretta and Luther Robinson, the parents of the student, said the school district has not kept them in the loop with the investigation and right now, they don't know what led up to the alleged altercation.

The Robinson's said their son has been traumatized by the incident and they just want justice for their child.

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