An Iowa boy claims his teacher choked him during class.
According to 12-year-old Austin Wickman, a teacher twisted the hood of his hoodie and lifted it up, which resulted in red marks on his neck.
“The red marks came up the sides of his neck, toward his ears on both sides,” George Wickman, Austin’s father, said. “It was like somebody had taken a towel or something and wrapped it around his neck and pulled it up.”
Although the Kirn Middle School teacher confessed in a letter to performing the act, Austin’s parents want more. According to the teacher, it was not apparent that Austin had been hurt and the boy never informed school officials of the event.
“Maybe there was (action) internally, with the school, but I don’t even know that, because nobody will tell us,” Amie Wickman, Austin’s mother, said. “Nobody will tell us anything.”
The Wickmans called the matter “devastating” and have expressed their shock that such a thing could happen.
According to the Council Bluffs Community School District, district administrators like the superintendent have met with the Wickmans. In a statement, the district noted that it did have an interest in Austin’s well-being.
An investigation into the event was conducted by a trained investigator and followed the guidelines set forth by the State Board of Education. A separate police investigation was also conducted, though it didn’t result in any criminal charges.
According to Council Bluffs Police, the investigation ceased when it became apparent that there wasn’t enough evidence to charge the teacher in question. The marks on Austin’s neck had apparently disappeared by the time a report was filed.
The teacher will continue to work at the school into the next year.