South Florida mother demands justice after teacher’s assistant allegedly strikes child

MIAMI (WSVN) - A mother is demanding justice after a teacher’s assistant at a Miami school allegedly struck her daughter in the face.

Alesia Thomas said her 4-year-old daughter E-Niyah came home from Thena Crowder Early Childhood and Diagnostic Center School last Thursday with a mark on her face.

“Her face was swollen. You could see the pigments of the blood getting ready to come through her skin,” said Thomas. “You’re not going to hit my child and think that that’s OK.”

Thomas’ daughter told her something happened at school and that it all started because she was crying in the cafeteria about not wanting to eat her lunch.

“She also came back and told me, ‘I was crying because my teacher hit me in the face,'” Thomas said.

Thomas said she immediately went back to the school after what E-Niyah told her.

“I brought her back to the school as soon as she got off the school bus, so you can’t deny it because my daughter’s face was swollen,” she said.

Thomas filed a complaint with Miami-Dade County Public Schools against the teacher’s assistant in her child’s pre-K classroom.

This isn’t the first time Thomas has filed a complaint like this against an employee at the school.

She claimed her child was hit on the back in 2017 by another teacher’s assistant.

According to the school system, there was a witness in that case who never saw the hit, so the case was dropped.

As for the current incident, an investigation is now underway and the teacher’s assistant has been removed from the school setting for the time being.

Parents at the school weren’t aware of the allegation.

“You don’t hit somebody else’s child,” said parent Tina Randolph after learning about the incident.

Randolph said the teacher’s assistant should be fired if the investigation finds the child was indeed struck in the face.

Thomas removed E-Niyah from the school, Tuesday morning, and has since enrolled her in a new school with her sisters.

She is now waiting to see what happens next at Crowder. Thomas wants anyone who has struck a child out of the classroom setting for good.

“I need answers. It was devastating to me. It made me feel hopeless as a parent,” Thomas said. “I felt like I didn’t protect my child, so now I’m getting justice for my child.”

A spokesperson for M-DCPS released a statement that reads in part, “Any allegation involving harm to a student by an employee is a serious matter. Upon learning of the alleged incident, the school district immediately launched an investigation and notified the Department of Children and Families.”

According to the school district, the teacher’s assistant accused in this case has been with the school system for 15 years and has no history of complaints.

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