Student, mother speak out on teacher beating

May 13, 2010 2:29:54 PM PDT
We have an update on a case that has shocked the nation about a local charter school teacher who was caught on tape beating up a student. The boy and his mother spoke out Thursday morning during an interview with ABC's 'Good Morning America.' [THE VIDEO IN THE WINDOW ABOVE WAS SHOT ON CELL PHONE VIDEO]

As more and more people see these images, there's talk of a criminal investigation. We're hearing from the student in this case about what we saw on that cell phone video, as well as what his mother thinks should happen now.

By now you may have already seen the cell phone video of an adult teacher hitting a student at Jamie's House Charter School in north Harris County. The attack went on for more than a minute and the history teacher has since been fired for beating the student. Isaiah Reagins is that student.

"It was unreal. I couldn't believe it," said Isaiah. "She started beating on her chest, and she threw a desk and then kicked a book and I was, I was frightened."

He says he tried to move away, even thought she was kidding at first, but no one stepped in to help.

"It was some teachers watching in the background and the kids in the room, so when she was hitting, I was scared and I was balled up like what am I gonna do?" Isaiah said.

Isaiah's mother, Alesha Johnson, said, "It's taken a big toll, he's embarrassed."

She admits just prior to the incident, her son was among a group of students mimicking a mentally challenged girl. However, she says that's no excuse for what happened.

"I feel like they should have been punished, but not that kind of punished, not beating on a child," said Alesha.

For the other teachers who might have watched this, Alesha believes they should be held accountable. A representative for the school said Thursday morning it is in the process this week of interviewing teachers, and if anyone witnessed it and did not stop it or report it they could face disciplinary action.

The teacher was already fired, and Alesha says she deserves more than losing her job.

"When two grownups fight, that's an assault charge, you know, they go to jail, now a child and adult fighting, that's worse," she said. "That's their job to take care of, to teach kids and be there for them and not beat them up."

Alesha Johnson did file a complaint with the Harris County Sheriff's Office on Monday, but the sheriff's office says Isaiah has not been made available for an interview, and although the sheriff's office has contacted the teacher, investigators have not formally interviewed her either.

The school says it has not been contacted by law enforcement, nor did it reach out to law officers when the complaint of the beating was first made to them. The school is still investigating the incident.

As for Isaiah, he says he isn't going back to the school.


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