NE Miami-Dade elementary student claims security guard used excessive force

NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) — The father and future stepmother of a Northeast Miami-Dade elementary school student are demanding an apology from his principal after, he said, a security guard who broke up a fight between the boy and another student crossed the line.

Ten-year-old Damian Alvarez said he got into a fight with a classmate at Linda Lentin K-8 Center, located on Northeast Second Court, on June 2. “I went to lunch … and then a kid on the wall, he started calling me names a lot,” he said, “so I went over there, and I punched him.”

Damian admitted he threw the first punch, but after that, he said, a school security guard stepped in and took things too far. “He grabbed me against the wall, like that, with both hands, and then told the other kid to hit me on the head,” he said.

Jessica Enriquez, who is engaged to the boy’s father and helps take care of the third-grader, said she is still in shock. “We couldn’t believe what happened,” she said. “He had mentioned to his father that a security guard held him down so another boy could hit him.”

The other student did not hit Damian, but his father said that doesn’t make the situation any less upsetting. “It’s enraging that you can do nothing, and if you react a certain way, you’re at fault,” said the father, also called Damian Alvarez.

When the couple found out the security guard grabbed their child, both pushed for answers. They talked to the school’s principal, and they eventually called the school board. “[The principal] said that the security guard admitted to her that he held my son down so the other boy could hit him,” said Enriquez.

The school mentioned the part-time security guard, employed by Miami-Dade Public Schools, was new and that they were investigating.

Damian’s family said a meeting with the principal took place, but Enriquez is upset with how the school official handled the situation. “I definitely do feel like they’re blowing me off,” she said.

As for the boy, he said the guard has no business working around children. “He [should] get fired and not be around kids,” said Damian.

In a statement, Miami-Dade Public Schools spokesperson Daisy Gonzalez-Diego confirmed they have dismissed the guard. It reads, “After looking into a minor incident involving two students and a school security monitor, school administrators determined that the security monitor used poor judgment. While the security monitor’s actions did not result in harm and injury to the students, it was a clear violation of the district’s standard procedures. As a result, the employee has been terminated.”

While Damian’s family is pleased the guard is off the job, they still need to hear something else to fully resolve their complaint. “I want an apology from the principal,” said Enriquez.

Even though the guard is no longer working at the Linda Lentin K-8 Center, the boy’s parents said he will be going to a different school in the upcoming school year.

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