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Brookland Middle School under investigation by DHS for mistreatment of students

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 6:23 PM CDT
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BROOKLAND, Ark. (KAIT) - The Department of Human Services has launched an investigation into students being mistreated at Brookland Middle School after being forced to sit on the pavement in 95-degree temperatures due to being disruptive in the cafeteria.

After Rebecca Sylvest picked her son up from school Thursday, she noticed he was more tired than usual and did not eat anything, which seemed out of the ordinary.

Her son had been punished before, so when he told her, she did not think anything of it until she heard what had really happened from other parents.

“There’s so many other kinds of punishments they could have done,” Slyvest said. “They could’ve taken them in, had them write sentences anything but having them sit on black asphalt for the whole 30 minutes is wrong.”

She does not know where the punishment came from but she stressed how unsafe it is for 10- and 11-year-old to be in that kind of heat for hours.

The full statement from Rebecca Worsham on behalf of the Brookland Middle School reads as follows:

“Last week, an incident occurred where Brookland Middle School 5th grade students were instructed to sit on the pavement during recess as a punishment for being disruptive in the cafeteria. Due to the hot temperatures last week, this type of punishment was inappropriate and should not have occurred. The matter was reported to the Child Maltreatment Hotline, and DHS is now investigating. The District is also conducting its own investigation to determine how this incident happened and ensure that it does not occur in the future. Brookland School Officials apologize to the parents and students affected and want all parents to know that the safety of their students is of the utmost importance. Parents may report their concerns to the superintendent’s office.”

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