Norfolk mother says son’s arm was accidentally broken by his teacher during school

Posted at 4:17 PM, Apr 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-23 23:22:06-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Shawanda Smallwood says her son’s arm was accidentally broken by his teacher around dismissal on Thursday afternoon at Coleman Place Elementary. She says she’s obviously upset about what happened but she says she’s even more upset about how the school handled the situation.

Smallwood says when school was let out Thursday afternoon, she knew something wasn’t right when she heard what seemed to be loud cries coming from the school bus.

“It’s my 9-year-old crying and holding his arm saying that his teacher slammed his arm in the classroom door. When I saw he couldn’t move it, I said 'Okay, let’s go to CHKD right now,'" says Smallwood.

On the way to the hospital, Shawanda says she got a call from her son’s teacher telling her what happened, but Shawanda says she should have been notified immediately.

Norfolk Public Schools says they are investigating the incident. In a statement to News 3 school officials said, “The student in question was involved in an altercation with another student. As the teacher attempted to break up the fight and restore order to the classroom, the student’s arm was injured. However, the student stated they were fine and did not need medical attention."

“Once you saw that his arm was stuck in that door and you had to release his arm out that door, the first thing you should  have done was make sure you took him to the nurse. Not only take him to the nurse, you should have contacted me to let me know what was going on," says Smallwood.

Shawanda says at CHKD, she discovered her son’s arm was broken.

School officials confirm the assistant principal reached out to Shawanda on Saturday, but she says that was not enough. She says school is supposed to be a safe haven, and for her son it wasn’t.

“I want to know what happened with this incident. I want you to go back and look back at where you guys went wrong and make sure you never go wrong again. Make sure that the safety of these children is important to you because that’s what you state in the Code of Conduct, in the policies and procedures that these kids matter. I want to know that my child really mattered," says Smallwood.

Shawanda says her son’s arm is still in a lot of pain and she says he could be wearing his hard cast for at least one month.