A Whitehorse Middle School teacher and acting principal was reportedly placed on administrative leave following an incident where he ripped a little girl’s braids from her scalp. According to Yahoo Lifestyle, on February 13 an 11-year-old girl and her classmates got in trouble with their teacher, Rob Mueller-Owens, after playing with perfumes.
Pastor Marcus Allen, the spokesperson for the girl and her family, said: “The girl and her friend had sprayed perfume on themselves in the bathroom and the scent was bothering the teacher’s allergies. The teacher asked who sprayed it and the class didn’t answer, so she asked [Mueller-Owens] to come in, and he targeted this one girl.”
“Mikiea Price filed a police report with the Madison Police Department in Wisconsin after hearing from her… https://t.co/es9sBm2Ihn
— Ray Winbush (@rwinbush) February 23, 2019
The child admitted to the teacher that she was responsible for using the spray and was called out to the hallway. “When he came in, he asked [my daughter] to step out and she didn’t listen and didn’t step out, and as he walked toward her, she said she went toward the window and just wasn’t following direction, and he told her in front of the whole class, to the teacher, ‘Take the class somewhere else,’” Price told Madison365. “And [my daughter] said, ‘No, that’s fine. They can stay, I’ll go.’”
The school’s surveillance cameras caught what happened next, and Allen said he viewed the footage for himself. He states that the teacher can be seen forcefully pushing the girl out of the classroom and into a row of lockers. Price says that her daughter told Mueller-Owens not to put his hands on her. During the heated exchange and him physically edging her out of the classroom, he lost his balance, fell on top of her, although some accuse Mueller-Owens of tackling the child.
Mikiea Price, the girl’s mother, said that when she saw her daughter, she was “crying and her lip was cracked, bleeding and she handed me three of her braids that were pulled out from her scalp,” according to a police report that was filed with the Madison Police Department.
Price, who works as a substitute teacher at the school, is familiar with how to handle situations such as these. She claims that the school failed to notify her or provide her daughter with medical attention. Price also states that her daughter was afraid to return to school.
“Just the whole experience is just traumatic and devastating and just confusing. I’m just disgusted at this whole incident,” Price told WISC-TV. “You know I send my kid to school to learn, and that’s a place where mothers send their kids to be comfortable in. I just feel violated in so many ways that … this even happened to her.”
The Madison Metropolitan School District released this statement in response to the alleged incident: “As a District, we take any situation of this nature very seriously. All of our students need to be safe and supported in school, and we have a thorough investigation process and protocol that we follow. While we cannot talk about the details of a specific student or personnel situation, it is our responsibility to consider all of the facts of the situation and determine the right next steps. The staff person was put on leave while the situation was investigated. Based on that investigation, the staff person will not return to Whitehorse Middle School, and we are determining next steps. In addition, our team is coming together to create a full support plan to ensure that students is safe and fully supported at school.”
Following an investigation, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said, “In this case, I do not believe a crime was committed,” so the teacher in question will not face any charges.
Madison Police Chief Mike Koval issued a lengthy statement that suggests their investigation concluded that the teacher was trained to use force when a student exhibited behavioral issues and that “state law allows school personnel to physically restrain a student under certain circumstances.”