Police are investigating a report of a teacher assaulting a student at Walker Creek Elementary School by grabbing the boy’s face during lunch Tuesday.
A North Richland Hills police officer saw a picture of the fourth-grader’s face and “what appeared to be a mark on the child’s cheek,” a Thursday police news release said.
Birdville school district spokesman Mark Thomas said the district takes the allegations “very seriously.”
“We are working with the family and investigating the incident,” he said.
The boy’s father, Boyd Clewis, said his heart was racing as he watched the surveillance video of the incident, which took place in the school cafeteria.
A special education teacher’s assistant had called for backup when she could not calm things down in the loud cafeteria, Boyd Clewis said. Ashton Clewis, 10, had gotten up out of his seat to pick up a cheese stick on the floor and the teacher’s assistant apparently became angry.
“Her anger was directed toward him for some reason I don’t understand,” Boyd Clewis said.
The counselor who was called for backup arrived and had asked Ashton to come with her when the teacher’s assistant stepped around her and grabbed the boy’s face, leaving a scratch and telling him he was being disrespectful, Boyd Clewis said.
“[The video] was exactly how my son described it,” he said. “Why would she do that to my kid?”
Ashton threw his lunch out and walked away, his father said. Ashton was later called into the counselor’s office to talk for a short time before being released to recess, but his parents were never called, Boyd Clewis said.
“It wasn’t until school was over that I found out, when my son told his mom and then she called me,” Boyd Clewis said.
He drove to the school, where he was told that they were “aware of the situation and handling it.” He filed a report with North Richland Hills police but it was not available Thursday.
Ashton’s parents kept him home from school Wednesday and Thursday because he was still “shaking and terrified” from the incident, Boyd Clewis said.
The district would not comment as to whether the teacher’s assistant is still working or what actions would be taken.
Staff writer Ryan Osborne contributed to this report