Preschool Teacher Dislocated Child’s Elbow, Mother Says

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
April 9, 2019US News
Preschool Teacher Dislocated Child’s Elbow, Mother Says
An ambulance in a file photo. (George Frey/Getty Images)

The Memphis Police Department investigating whether a preschool teacher dislocated a child’s elbow has obtained surveillance footage of the alleged incident.

Jace Hudson, the child, was rushed to the emergency room at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital on April 5 after his mother picked him up from Lord’s Tabernacle Christian Academy.

“When I pulled up to the scene, that’s all you hear on that street—a young child screaming and crying and it’s terrible,” Caleb Armour, the fiancé of the child’s mother, told Fox 13.

Instead of seeking care for the boy, school administrators waited until the mother arrived, about 75 minutes after the alleged incident occurred, according to the family.

“What’s obvious is they are trying to cover up something. For them not to pick up the phone to anybody—not a grandparent, not a parent to say, ‘hey your child is hurt,’” said Armour.

When Jace’s mother got the preschool to take her son home, the principal stopped her.

“The principal says ‘before you leave let me tell you what happened,’” Armour told WMC. “She said that there is a teacher, his after school care teacher was asking him to go to timeout. He did not comply or comprehend so basically as a result his elbow is dislocated from his arm.”

He said the boy kept talking about his arm.

“All he can say is ‘arm hurt’ for who knows how long,” Caleb Armour, who spoke on behalf of the family, told WMC.

Pictures showed the boy crying in the back of an ambulance.

A doctor at the hospital diagnosed Jace with Nursemaid’s elbow.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Nursemaid’s elbow is a common injury of early childhood.

“It is sometimes referred to as ‘pulled elbow’ because it occurs when a child’s elbow is pulled and partially dislocates,” the group stated on its OrthoInfo platform.

“Because a young child’s bones and muscles are still developing, it typically takes very little force to pull the bones of the elbow partially out of place, making this injury very common. It occurs most often in children ages 1 to 4, but can happen any time from birth up to age 6 or 7 years old. Although the injury may cause initial pain, a doctor or other healthcare professional can easily reset the elbow, quickly relieving any discomfort and restoring arm movement.”

Caregivers are told to avoid tugging or pulling on a child’s hands or arms, especially one who has suffered the elbow injury before.

According to a police report obtained by WMC, an investigator who watched surveillance footage of the alleged incident said that the video showed a teacher tugging on the toddler’s arm three times.

Reached by the broadcaster, a woman at the Lord’s Tabernacle Christian Academy declined to comment.

According to its website, the academy “is a coeducational, non-denominational multi-level educational program.”

“We place our students in an environment that promotes scholastic, social, and spiritual growth,” it added. “We believe that this environment is the only foundation on which to build a healthy society, and thus, we are committed to developing strong ethical and moral value in our students.”

In addition to the investigation by the police department, the Tennessee Department of Child Services is investigating the incident. And the child’s family told Fox that they’re considering taking action against the school.

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