ST. LOUIS – J'Ameshia Triplett said a school teacher not once, but twice, slammed her 5-year-old son's head against his desk.
She said school officials then tried to downplay the incident.
“I just kept saying 'Look at my baby, look at my baby,'” said J’Ameshia Triplett about an incident she said happened last Thursday.
Photos explain the pain Triplett said she felt when she finally reached her son Kaiden at Herzog Elementary, in the St. Louis Public School System.
“When I opened up his mouth, his tooth is gone and one was pushed so far up in his gums and another was pushed up there as well,” she said.
And when Triplett asked for an explanation, she said the school nurse told her something she said didn’t make sense to her.
“She told me Kaiden was sitting at his desk and he hit his mouth,” said Triplett.
But when another school official asked her son what happened in a recorded statement, Triplett said her five-year-old said that his teacher first slapped him and then became even more violent.
“He hit his head on his desk two times,” said Triplett.
And when the mother got upset, she said officials called security on her. Eventually, she got him to a hospital and was stunned by the diagnosis of her boy.
“Concussion without loss of consciousness, a dislocation of a tooth, and strong impact to his face,” said Triplett.
Though the teeth are not permanent, Triplett said the force was so hard the permanent teeth may not grow.
“He asked me the next morning was I going to buy him some teeth,” said Triplett.
And the emotional trauma lingers as well.
“He keeps saying he's ugly and stupid and he keeps saying that he's dead,” she said.
We tried contacting the accused teacher to ask for his side of the story. We even stopped by his home, though we weren't able to reach him.
The school system's policies prohibit corporal punishment.
A spokesperson for SLPS gave the following statement:
Saint Louis Public Schools is investigating an incident that occurred last week at Herzog Elementary. As part of the investigation, the student and his parent were interviewed. We will fully investigate and work with any and all relevant authorities to determine what occurred and take appropriate action. Per District procedure, the teacher has been placed on administrative leave.
St. Louis Metropolitan Police was called to the school Thursday and is investigating this matter as well. They released the following statement:
Detectives assigned to the Juvenile Division responded to Herzog Elementary School relative to an incident involving a student. The investigation revealed a student was injured during class. The victim was conveyed to an area hospital for treatment. This investigation is on-going. Thank you for your inquiry.