A civil rights complaint filed in Chicago Thursday alleges that a 9-year-old boy was beaten with belts in a school bathroom by his fourth-grade teacher’s friend.
According to the lawsuit, Jomaury Champ was "physically accosted" on Sept. 20, 2018, by his George W. Tilton Elementary School teacher Kristen Haynes (above right) and her childhood friend Juanita Tyler (above left).
When Jomaury tried to enter his classroom, Tyler allegedly slapped him twice before she and Haynes dragged him by his wrists down a hallway to a bathroom. Then, Haynes left and went back to her classroom while Tyler beat the 9-year-old with belts, reported NBC 5 Chicago.
"His screams could be heard in her classroom, according to classmates," the complaint reads.
What’s more, attorneys said Jomaury had no significant history of behavior problems. During the beating, the boy was struck with two large belts 20-30 times on the back, legs and buttocks, "breaking the skin and leaving abrasions and red marks on his left, right inner thigh and buttocks," the complaint states.
According to the complaint, Jomaury sobbed while pleading for his mother as Tyler shouted, "I am your mama." Jomaury was then brought back to the classroom, where he sobbed for hours in front of his classmates, the complaint states.
Haynes then allegedly threatened Jomaury by saying, "You better be good because the lady is going to come back up at 1 p.m."
Haynes, 50, was arrested on Sept. 24 and charged by police with battery and causing a child to be endangered. Tyler, 56, was arrested on Sept. 28 and charged with domestic battery causing bodily harm, according to Chicago police.
Chicago Public Schools said Haynes is no longer teaching while the investigation into the assault is ongoing.
"Every student deserves a safe learning environment and the district will not tolerate actions that place students in the way of harm,” the district said in a statement released Thursday. “After learning of deeply concerning allegations, the district removed the employee from her position and launched a full investigation. While the investigation remains ongoing, the district is working directly with the school to ensure support is available for the student and family."
The day before the incident, attorney Al Hofeld Jr. said Haynes called Jomaury’s father and said the child “was playing around, had an attitude, and folded his arms when Haynes spoke to him.”
According to the complaint, Jomaury has since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome and other trauma-related disorders. He was partially hospitalized for more than two months and now takes medications for anxiety, insomnia and receives weekly psychotherapy.
“He has [sic] suffers from panic attacks, insomnia, night terrors and bedwetting. He lost his appetite, is hyper-vigilant and cannot be alone,” Hofeld’s release reads. “Jomaury had no previous history of any of these symptoms.”
Hofeld alleges Haynes had a history of “punishing her students with belts” and said Tyler had previous child endangerment and domestic battery charges.
(Photo: NBC 5 Chicago)
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