A substitute paraprofessional in Louisiana was fired after a video went viral that showed him yelling and pushing a student at a middle school.
Andre Fuller was escorted from the East Ouachita Middle School campus on March 5 after administrators called the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office.
According to an incident report obtained by the Monroe News-Star, Assistant Principal John Merritt said he watched the video in which Fuller battered a student.
He showed the video to the deputies who responded to the school, prompting them to usher Fuller off the campus.
Warning: Footage may be disturbing to some.
The footage shows a student and Fuller talking to each other. Throughout the video, the student tells Fuller: “Get out of my face.” But the teacher kept coming at the student, and at one point pushed him against the wall and holds him there.
The paraprofessional later pushed the child again.
Fuller told deputies that the incident started when the student picked up the chair and threatened to hurl it at him. He said he got close to the student to defend himself.
Fuller was issued a court summons and left the school.
Ouachita Parish Schools Superintendent Don Coker confirmed that he was fired.
According to Christina Hamilton, whose son also attends the school, another paraprofessional was violent with him in 2018. She said Tremayne January, who was working at the middle school, yanked her son by his book bag.
“If I would have put my hands on him and jerked him around like that in public, I would have gone to jail,” she told NBC 10.
Crying, she said that her son has special needs. She said that unlike the more recent incident, no one filmed footage of what happened the last time.
“You can’t discipline a child with Aspergers or even ADHD, the same way you do as a child who doesn’t have that,” she said.
Melvin Hamilton, her husband, said that any other parents who know of abuse happening to their child at the school should step forward.
School administrators said that January also no longer works for the school.
An estimated 674,000 children were determined to be victims of maltreatment in 2017, according to the Department of Health & Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.
Of the victims, about 75 percent were neglected, 18 percent were physically abused, and 9 percent were sexually abused. Nationwide, an estimated 1,720 children died from abuse and neglect, a decline from the 1,750 children who died from the same in the previous year.
Officials said there was an increase in the number of referrals to Child Protective Services for an investigation but that there was a decline in the number of maltreatment cases, a phenomenon they will be probing.
Of the abused children, 25 percent were younger than 1 year old. Another 52 percent were between 1 year old and 5 years old. The children who were killed by abuse or neglect were also overwhelmingly young, with about half of the fatalities being younger than 1 year old. Boys made up 58 percent of the deaths.
Perpetrators of abuse or neglect are most often in the 25 to 34 age range. More than four-fifths (83.4 percent) of the perpetrators were between 18 and 44 years old. Perpetrators were also more likely to be female than male.