Police and school district investigating claim of teacher roughing up student

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NORTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KPLR) – Normandy Police are investigating allegations that an elementary school teacher rouged up a fourth grade student. The district, however, denies any wrongdoing.

The incident happened Tuesday at Lucas Crossing Elementary School. Ronnica Moore says her son ReSean Ryan, 10, was on the school bus waiting to come home. She says he was switching seats, something he thought he was allowed to do when the bus is stationary. She claims a male teacher told her son to sit down, and when he said he thought he could swap, the teacher placed him back in his seat.

“My son said he grabbed him by his shirt collar told him he didn’t care and forced him into the seat he was originally sitting in. And when he did that my son said he snatched back and said, ‘Don’t grab me like that, I’m telling my dad and my dad will be up here tomorrow to talk to you.’”

She says the teacher became upset, tried putting Ryan back in his seat again, but instead knocked the child to the floor.

“When he fell, [the teacher] grabbed him by his foot and dragged him down the aisle of the bus and down the stairs,” she said.

Normandy School District officials say the family is mischaracterizing the situation. The would not submit to an on camera interview, but told FOX 2 by phone that the child was “violently resisting” being removed from the bus.

In a written statement, they said, “This issue potentially threatened the safety of both the student causing problems as well as other students on the bus. It was necessary to remove the student from the bus and return him to his classroom.”

The entire dispute may likely be settled by video of the incident.   Normandy Police confirm the mother’s assertion that there is video both from a camera on the bus and from cameras mounted outside the school. But, more than 24 hours after the incident, neither police nor the child’s family have been able to get that video from the school system.

“They said that they hadn’t got the video as of yet because they were waiting for the bus company to send it over. When I asked if they had the video at the school, because they do have cameras outside and inside the school, they said they hadn’t retrieved it yet, so I couldn’t see it.”

District officials would only say they are working on getting the video.

A spokesman for the district said repeatedly that there were some things he could not divulge due to federal privacy laws. But in the statement issued by the district, they insisted the teacher had done nothing wrong.

“The Lucas Crossing principal has discussed this issue with all involved and all who observed what happened. We are confident this matter was handled in a professional and responsible manner including discussing this issue with the mother of the student responsible for the problem.”