LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KATV/CNN) - A teacher’s aide in Arkansas is on paid leave after a 12-year-old boy in his class came home with a black eye.
Maria Alba, the mother of a 12-year-old boy with special needs, says her son came home Nov. 15 with a swollen face and bruises from Cloverdale Middle School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Initially, the boy told his mother he fell but later said a teacher’s aide punched him.
Alba, an attorney and the Consulate of Mexico held a press conference about the incident Tuesday.
"We don't know at this point. We know that there will be forensic evidence, and I think that that will probably tell the story,” attorney Milton DeJesus said.
Alba says she just wants the truth and hopes special needs students are treated fairly.
In a police report, the teacher’s aide, identified as William Jarmon, is accused of hitting Alba’s son while they were in the bathroom. He was placed on paid leave following the allegation.
Jarmon claims the boy went to the bathroom, came out, then ran back in. The teacher’s aide then went inside the bathroom to take him back to class. Jarmon says he held the 12-year-old’s hand and moved him toward the door.
A school administrator reviewed surveillance footage near the bathroom area that shows the alleged victim falling, using his hand to brace the impact and eventually touching the ground while Jarmon exits the bathroom.
"It is our position, at this point, that we want the system to work, and essentially, we're very confident that the police will do a thorough investigation. We're confident that the school system has taken this seriously, and they will do their investigation as well,” DeJesus said.
DeJesus says they have not filed a lawsuit, as they wait to see what doctors at Arkansas Children’s Hospital have to say about the boy’s injuries.
The school says it contacted local law enforcement and reported the incident to the Child Abuse Hotline.