VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The head of the Parent Teacher Association at Rosemont Elementary says her organization stands by two staff members who were pulling and carrying a first grader in school surveillance video.
PTA president Margo Deems says principal Cari Ann Hall and teacher Alison Williams have their full support.
We got the school surveillance video, and it shows the staffers pulling seven-year-old Eric Chapman along the floor and carrying him through the hallways. Eric’s mother Latasha Holloway says she was outraged by the treatment, and filed misdemeanor assault charges against Hall and Williams.
The Virginia Beach City Public Schools system says the footage from the hallway does not reflect a practice that is common, and that its investigation found neither staff member was trying to hurt Eric. Both of them remain on the job.
The system said what the video does not show is a significant disruption that led to Eric’s removal from his first grade class.
Deems says she doesn’t understand why Hall and Williams are facing charges. “There’s a bunch of parents ready to rally behind our school and support our school and our principal and any of the teachers and staff at the school.”
We asked Deems if she thought it was appropriate to handle a child like that. “No I don’t, but I wasn’t put in that situation. I would imagIne that anybody put in that situation would have a hard time trying to figure out how to react.”
Deems says she has full faith that her own children are safe when they’re with any staff at Rosemont.
We asked the school system about the training for the principal and the special ed teacher – and we showed the video to a child psychologist and an attorney who specializes in special education law.
What effect does something like this have on other students who see it? And where were they taking Eric when they were carrying him through the hall?
We get those answers in our investigation Thursday at 6.