MARGATE, FLA. (WSVN) - A Margate elementary school teacher was arrested last week for allegedly assaulting a five-year-old kindergarten student at Margate Elementary School, officials said.
The incident occurred on Oct. 10 and was captured by school surveillance cameras.
According to police, surveillance footage showed the victim seated on the floor with a group of other students before the start of class. The altercation began when the student threw a piece of paper in the direction of another student.
At that point, police said, 53-year-old Khadijah Muhammad, who was not the victim’s teacher but was serving in the capacity of a hall monitor, approached the student in an aggressive manner and physically grabbed him by his left wrist.
Muhammad then lifted the student off the ground by his arms, twisted his arms, and grabbed him by the back of his shirt while forcefully shoving him across the hallway, police said.
During the two-minute altercation, Muhammad tore the jacket off the student’s back and continued to grip the student by his arms, wrists, shirt, and jacket.
Police said towards the end of the video, partially blocked at times, Muhammad grabbed the student around his neck and slammed him to the ground.
According to the police report, at no point did Muhammad ask for help from any other staff member to control the situation.
7News spoke to the parents on Tuesday and they said that they had no idea that this occurred at their children’s school.
“I’m very surprised because my daughter right now is in kindergarten, but that is not her teacher. Thank God. But that is very surprising to hear that it’s from our school — very surprised — and not being notified about it, that’s surprising too,” said Emily Fernandez.
“I definitely don’t agree with that,” said Phil Mazzole. “I have a 5-year-old daughter and if it happened to me, I’d be in there at once and want some answers. That’s not something to play around with. These are little kids and I’m getting tired of this school stuff going down here, I really am. I feel really bad for these students and their parents and these teachers need to be held accountable.”
Nicole Zeeb’s child is also in kindergarten and she was in disbelief after hearing about the altercation.
“Yeah, it’s very shocking. I’m surprised, to be honest,” said Zeeb. “It’s alarming but you know, they handled it well, I’m assuming. They took care of what they needed to. I didn’t even know anything, that’s a little alarming.”
Muhammad was taken into custody the day after the incident and charged with one count of child abuse without great bodily harm. She has since been released on bond.
The Broward County Public School Board released a statement regarding the matter, which reads in part: “The school is working closely with law enforcement regarding the situation and the teacher involved has been reassigned away from students and the school pending the outcome of the case.”
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