A Madison, Wisconsin teacher has been placed on leave while police investigate allegations that he assaulted an 11-year-old black student, slamming her into a locker and tearing braids from her head.
WISC-TV reports that the teacher was bothered by the perfume the girl and a friend had sprayed on themselves. Rob Mueller-Owens reportedly grabbed the girl, fell on top of her, and ripped out her braids in the ensuing altercation.
Pastor Marcus Allen, speaking on behalf of the girl's family, relayed what they say happened to Yahoo Lifestyle.
"I am told that the girl and her friend had sprayed perfume on themselves in the bathroom and the scent was bothering the teacher’s allergies,” Allen told Yahoo Lifestyle. “The teacher asked who sprayed it and the class didn’t answer, so she asked [Mueller-Owens] to come in, and he targeted this one girl.”
“He stayed on top of her for 10 or 15 seconds,” Allen told the outlet. “I don’t know how the girl’s braids were pulled out but she has two bald spots on her head."
The girl suffered multiple injuries as well as emotional trauma. According to her mother, she was "crying and her lip was cracked, bleeding and she handed me three of her braids that were pulled out from her scalp.”
The School District issued a statement.
“As a District, we take any situation of this nature very seriously. All of our students need to be safe and supported in school, and we have a thorough investigation process and protocol that we follow. While we cannot talk about the details of a specific student or personnel situation, it is our responsibility to consider all of the facts of the situation and determine the right next steps. The staff person was put on leave while the situation was investigated. Based on that investigation, the staff person will not return to Whitehorse Middle School, and we are determining next steps. In addition, our team is coming together to create a full support plan to ensure that students is safe and fully supported at school.”