Video shows Fort Lauderdale middle school assistant principal manhandling student

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida mother is demanding the removal of an assistant principal who was caught on cellphone video manhandling her daughter in a classroom so severely that she ended up in the hospital.

The footage shows 13-year-old Toccara Denmark, an eighth-grader at William Dandy Middle School in Fort Lauderdale, telling the administrator to keep his hands off her, Friday morning.

“Don’t touch me,” she is heard saying.

The assistant principal is then seen grabbing the teen by the leg, causing her desk to overturn.

The girl’s mother, Latashia Whitfield, spoke to 7News on Friday night.

“She’s in eighth grade, but she’s very, very tiny,” she said, “and this man, he’d have to be at least 200, almost 300 pounds.”

The video goes on to show the administrator pushing the desk out of the way and grabbing Denmark off the floor by her right wrist. He is then seen grabbing her from behind in a lock before he holds her down on the ground, as other students watched in disbelief.

“I hadn’t seen the video before I came to the school. I saw it once I got home; it made me even more irate,” said Whitfield, “because I saw the video of this grown man hitting my child, someone who’s supposed to protect my child.”

Whitfield said the incident unfolded after Denmark arrived late to her third-period class. The concerned mother said the teen told her other students were late as well, but her teacher and the administrator singled her out for some reason.

“She didn’t hit him. She didn’t touch him at all,” said Whitfield.

“I thought it was kind of rough. He manhandled her a little bit,” said Rita Butts, whose granddaughter attends the same school.

“I understand it’s not easy for these teachers, and I salute to them for their work that they do. We go through it sometimes at home, but it’s all about keeping your composure to know that’s a child,” said Diane Oshon, grandmother to another student at the school.

Denmark was treated at the hospital for leg and back injuries.

Now her family is demanding accountability.

“I need him to be removed from the school,” said Whitfield.

7News cameras caught Whitfield after she dropped her daughter off at school on Monday morning when she said the school apologized to her.

“Yeah, I got an apology, they apologized. They said they’re trying to make it right so we’re going to see how this goes,” said Whitfield.

As of Monday morning, Broward County Public Schools officials have not confirmed the administrator’s identity but said they are looking into the incident and he has since been reassigned while the investigation is conducted.

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