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No need for science lab, just use the kid

Elemenia Jackson and Anthony Jackson. The boy was allegedly choked by a teacher as an “experiment.” (Staff photo by Angela Rowlings)

You’ve got to be kidding me. This principal and teacher need to be fired. Note that there’s no denial that the incident occurred; the school lamely issued an apology. Substitute teacher chokes boy unconscious.

The family of a 12-year-old Dorchester boy is demanding answers after they say he was choked unconscious by a substitute teacher in an elementary school classroom, then put on a bus and sent home after he recovered.

The incident, which Boston Public Schools officials say is under investigation, allegedly happened Thursday at the John Marshall Elementary School. But Elemenia Jackson, the boy’s grandmother and custodial parent, said the school never notified her. Instead, she found out Thursday night when a neighbor who is a classmate of the boy ran up to her as she returned home from work.

“He said the teacher asked how long does it take for a student to black out,” she said. “Someone said `I don’t know,’ and she said `Well, let’s try it’ and then she turned and choked him.”

She said her grandson, Anthony Jackson, a fifth-grader, said the teacher wrapped her hands around his throat and choked him with such force that he lost consciousness and fell to the floor, but no one called for emergency help.

“They just sent him home,” his grandmother said. “They put him on the bus.” Anthony, still reluctant to talk about the incident, said he had a headache afterward, but has since recovered. His family took him to Roxbury Comprehensive Community Health Center Friday morning to be checked out, but he suffered no serious injuries.

Anthony’s mother, Elaine Jackson, said she went to the school Friday to find out what happened, and was given only an apology by school officials. “That’s not enough,” she said. “She shouldn’t be in there.”

Theresa Harvey-Jackson, principal at the school, was at a conference yesterday and unable to comment. But School Department spokesman Jonathan Palumbo said that the Department of Social Services was investigating the matter, and the district would await any DSS action before deciding what, if any, disciplinary measures would be taken against the teacher, who was not identified by officials yesterday.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding