Officials with New York City public schools are investigating a claim that a Bronx teacher broke the leg of a student with special needs during an April 2 altercation.
WPIX News reports 9-year-old Ahmed Mbaye has been out of school since he was injured at Public School 186X earlier this month. He and his mother are waiting for his leg to heal. In the meantime the boy is using a walker to get around.
Meanwhile, his mother wants to know why the teacher involved hasn't been charged yet.
Ahmed explained what happened in a recent interview with WPIX.
He said he was playing the card game UNO with another student when that student started cursing at him.
“So I cursed at him back and said don’t curse at me and then the teacher came and didn’t do nothing to the boy, sent me to my seat and got in my face and started screaming at me,” Ahmed said in the interview. “So I went to the door to go to Mr. Page’s room and do my work there and then he grabbed me and bent my leg.”
“Then I was on the floor, he put his knee on my leg then when he heard the big crack,” he added.
Emergency responders were called to the school and took the boy to a nearby hospital. It was there that doctors, according to records obtained by WPIX, determined Ahmed's leg was broken due to excessive force.
The student is now in a cast that runs the length of his leg.
Ahmed’s mother, Nyree Pruit, said she wants to know how her son, who has a learning a disability and was in a classroom with only 12 students, was injured when there was a teacher and two para-professionals supervising the classroom.
Pruit wants the 30-year-old teacher, Justin Tossas, to be charged with a crime. New York police are investigating the incident, but Pruit says authorities are telling her they don’t want to rush into making an arrest.
“I want to know what is hasty about this arrest?” Pruit told WPIX. “Clearly my son was injured in school, the EMT picked him up from his school and took him to Lincoln Hospital so what’s hasty about what arrest.”
The principal of the school was not available to speak with WPIX but a New York City Department of Education representative issued a brief statement.
“We take this matter seriously, and it is currently under investigation. The teacher involved has been removed from the classroom,” the statement read.
For the Department of Education, this is the second allegation of violence against a student it has dealt with in the last two months.
WPIX reported in March that New York police had arrested Sakeem Nelbett, a 34-year-old teacher, for allegedly slapping and punching a 14-year-old student, injuring the student’s eye.
Nelbett was charged with endangering the welfare of a child as well as misdemeanor assault.
“This alleged behavior is reprehensible,” a Department of Education representative was quoted as saying at the time. “Mr. Nelbett has been removed from the classroom, and will remain far away from our students and schools.”