A teacher at a Federal Way school is on administrative leave after an incident that involved pushing a student.
The teacher is seen on camera pushing a student so hard he hit the floor at Sequoyah Middle School on Friday.
The 13-year-old student told KIRO 7 it started with confusion over the new school semester and his class schedule.
Jueliyan Williams said the teacher told him he was supposed to move into a different classroom for a history class. Jueliyan said the teacher grabbed his phone away from him so forcefully the case broke.
When he went to the teacher's classroom between classes and asked for the phone back, the teacher refused to give it to him, he said.
Students recorded the incident on their phones. At one point in the video, you can see Jueliyan standing with his arms crossed in front of the teacher.
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- Video shows Federal Way teacher shoving student
The teacher reaches forward, grabs the teen and pushes him all the way to ground. Another video shows Jueliyan lying on the floor.
Tremond Williams, Jueliyan's father, said the school didn't call him after the incident happened. He saw video of the incident on social media and recognized his son.
He went to the school to see if Jueliyan was OK and to find out what the school was doing to investigate. When he found out no one had called the police, he called 911.
A deputy from the King County Sheriff's Office responded.
Jueliyan’s dad took him to the hospital to be checked out and said the teen had some symptoms of a concussion, including a headache and dizziness. He also injured a couple of his fingers when he hit the floor.
The school district did not want to do an on-camera interview but provided the following statement to KIRO-7:
"Thank you for reaching out to FWPS. This email is a follow-up to your question about an incident at one of our middle schools this past Friday. As you know, this matter is under investigation and so here is the information I can share with you at this time.
Student safety is our number one priority.
On Friday, February 2, 2018, we were alerted to an incident where a staff member reportedly used force to remove a student from a classroom.
As soon as were notified, we took the appropriate measures and acted immediately with the safety of our staff and students in mind. Consistent with the district’s practice with allegations such as these, we place the employee on administrative leave while the matter is investigated.
As this type of conduct is not consistent with our standards of maintaining a safe environment for staff and scholars, we immediately engaged in a full and complete investigation.
This matter is taken seriously and we have been cooperating with local law enforcement and value the collaboration with the families involved.
Each year, staff are notified of our professional conduct regarding interactions with students.
We care deeply about every scholar’s emotional and physical wellbeing and are committed to maintaining a safe environment for all students."
-Kassie Swenson, -Chief of Communications and Strategy for Federal Way Public Schools.
School forced to call special meeting
On Monday night, Sequoyah Middle School called for a special meeting with parents because of the video.
KIRO 7 Cameras were not allowed into the meeting between the school district and some parents concerned about the violent incident caught on camera and now circulating online.
The father of the boy who was shoved in the video left the meeting early. Tremond Williams said the meeting at the middle school didn't include an apology. Williams and other parents spoke to KIRO 7 as they were driving out; everyone felt like the schools mishandled some aspect of the incident.
Williams made it clear why he was not staying for the entire meeting, “It didn't address my child being assaulted so that's why I'm leaving early.”
“If this were anyone else's kid I'd probably walk out too, because they're too worried about their ..the legal part of it,” Williams said.
Diana Schlachter said that the school in some cases wasn’t following its own rules, “They're not enforcing policy and so it's driving these teachers to this point where our children are being assaulted.”
As parents left Monday's special meeting they admitted that the video -- a teacher grabbing a student and shoving him to the floor -- is exactly what not to do in a tense moment.
Raoul Fernandez wonders why the incident played out so violently between a teacher and student, “Security should have been more involved with this not the teacher to make the decisions a call like that.”
Shlachter added that as a parent she simply would not have been allowed to treat anyone the way the teacher did in the moment captured on video, “If I was to go down the street and assault a child I'd be in jail right now and that's the problem.”
The district says safety is their top priority, but some parents are concerned this could happen to their child if confronted in a similar manner by a teacher.
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