Saturday, February 25, 2012

Parents file child abuse charges against Picayune teacher

By Al Showers

PEARL, MS (WLOX) - The parents of two West Side Elementary School students in Picayune have filed child abuse charges against their first grade teacher.

That action came after the parents say the teacher taped their children to their classroom chairs last Friday.

The Pearl River County NAACP has launched an investigation into the alleged incident.

"How would someone feel if their child was taped to a chair? How would you feel?" asked Debbie Newsome, Terry's Mother.

Debbie Newsome and Destiny Magee say they know what it feels like. They say it happened to their six and seven-year-old sons.

"No one should be tied to a chair, taped, no one," said Newsome.

De'morieyus Magee the six year old alleged victim said, "She got some tape off her desk and she taped us up in the chair."

The boys' parents say they both received calls from the school principal last Friday.

"The principal called me around 9:30 and told me that one of the first grade teachers had walked in on Miss Pruitt and seen that my son Demorieyus Magee and Terry Fowler was taped down to their chair," said Destiny Magee, De'morieyus Mother.

Magee said the teacher that walked into the classroom reported what she saw to the principal. She says the principal went to the classroom and told The teacher Brittney Pruitt to un-tape them immediately.

"Our understanding it was masking tape the wide masking tape that you use. She proceeded to sit them in the chair and bound them their hands and around their wastes to the back of the chair and they said that they couldn't move," said Rev. Jimmy Richardson, President of the Pearl River County NAACP.

"That's child abuse to me," said Magee.

No one seems to know exactly how long the boys were allegedly taped up before the principal walked in and stopped it, but the parents say if only for one second was far too long.

Magee said she was told the boys were taped to their seats because they would not stay in their seats.

"She told them to sit down several times they didn't so she taped them. That's not the type of discipline you give a child at school."

They say their children haven't been the same since the incident.

"It affects a child mentally, physically it affects them. They cry. They cry at night," said Newsome.

Magee echoed her words, "He's traumatized about it. He say he don't want to go back to her class."

The Picayune Police Department confirmed two counts of child abuse have been filed against the teacher Brittney Pruitt, and that the county prosecutor is reviewing the case to determine what action to take.

When asked for comment, the Superintendent of the Picayune School District Dean Shaw told WLOX News, it was a personnel matter that they are dealing with it.


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