COLUMBUS, Ga. -- Video of a Georgia school contract worker carrying a AllonGeorgia.com. Montravious Thomas, 13, later had his leg amputated.apparently contradicts the school’s account that the boy was walking after the incident, reports
The student was injured in September at the Edgewood Student Services Center in Columbus, where he was enrolled in an alternative program for students who have violated school district rules and have been temporarily removed from their assigned schools, reported the Ledger-Enquirer. School district officials and a police report say the student was “physically restrained” by the worker, Bryant Mosley, but the boy and his family claim he was thrown to the ground and an ambulance wasn’t called when he said he was injured, according to the paper.
The alleged incident began Sept. 12 when Thomas tried to leave a classroom and go to the main office so he could call his mother to pick him up, the Ledger-Enquirer reports. The boy said the contract worker stopped him and slammed him to the floor several times to prevent him from leaving.
The boy’s lawyer, Renee Tucker, told the Ledger-Enquirer that after the incident the boy told school staff his leg was numb. School staff initially said they would call an ambulance, but later decided against it, Tucker said. The worker allegedly involved carried the boy to a school bus and didn’t inform his parents of the injury, Tucker alleged.
“They placed an injured student on the school bus,” the boy’s lawyer told the paper. “We don’t know the extent that the injuries were worsened by the failure to render aid and certainly by picking him up and seating him on the school bus. Then they had him ride in that same school bus home without any support or stabilization of that leg.”
The boy’s mother said he was struggling to walk when he arrived home. He was taken to a hospital and then airlifted to an Atlanta medical center, where he underwent multiple surgeries on the leg before it was amputated.
In a statement issued to the media last week, the Muscogee County school district said Thomas was “up and walking not in distress” after the incident. But in school video obtained by website AllonGeorgia showing the moments after the incident, Thomas can be seen being carried by Mosley. The man puts the boy down momentarily, but Thomas is apparently unable to bear weight on his leg, and Mosley picks the child up again.
District spokeswoman Valerie Fuller said in a statement issued to the Ledger-Enquirer, “We are committed to conducting a thorough review of the alleged incident at the AIM/Edgewood Student Services Center to determine all of the facts.”
Fuller said physical restraint is allowed in Georgia public schools in situations when students are “an immediate danger to himself or others and the student is not responsive to less intensive behavioral interventions including verbal directives or other de-escalation techniques.”
Mosley, a behavioral specialist, is “specifically trained in MindSet curriculum, a system of preventing and managing aggressive behavior, and Georgia restraint requirements,” Fuller said. “It is our understanding that there were issues concerning the safety of the child and others in the room, which called for the use of restraint per state guidance.”
In an incident report Mosley filed obtained by AllonGeorgia, Mosley said the boy was pacing around the room, picking up items that didn’t belong to him and spitting, cursing and making threats. Witnesses reportedly said Thomas grabbed a dustpan and began swinging it wildly.
Mosley reportedly said he tried to calm the boy by “talking him out of his behavior.” But when that didn’t work, he said he “wrapped his arms around the student and took him to the ground multiple times.”
He reportedly said he held the boy for six minutes the first and second time, and released him after ten seconds the third time after the boy said his leg was hurt. Mosley reportedly said in the document the last restraint ended to avoid being hit by what he called a long stick. The boy’s leg was “injured possibly,” the report said.
Mosley reportedly refers to the restraint as a “horizontal hold.”
No criminal charges have been fired against Mosley. The Columbus Police Department confirmed to Crimesider that it is investigating the incident.
The school district did not immediately respond to a request for further comment by Crimesider Thursday.