‘It just made me mad;’ Parents react after Dayton school staff member hit their nonverbal child

DAYTON — A mother and father are talking after sharing a video that shows a Dayton Public Schools staff member hitting their child and causing him to fall.

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The incident took place in the hallway at Rosa Parks Early Childhood Learning Center last month on the second day of school.

News Center 7′s Xavier Hershovitz says the video shows three-year-old Braylen running down the hallway, getting smacked in the head, and then getting picked by his ankles, and walked down the hallway.

His parents told News Center 7′s Mike Campbell in an exclusive interview on Monday that Braylen is autistic and non-verbal.

“It’s hard, you can’t ask him, ‘how was your day?’ He’s not going to say anything,” said Robert Tootle, his father. “It just made me mad, I wanted to be physical with him, but I can’t, (I) have to do it the right way.”

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Braylen’s parents also told News Center 7 that other students like him in the district can’t tell their parents after something happens.

“There are other kids out there that are non-verbal,” said Tonehsa Lindsay, Braylen’s mother. “We let you have our baby, and this happened on the second day.”

It was not until Monday that the parents received the video and were able to see what happened, they told News Center 7.

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DPS Interim Superintendent Dr. David Lawrence confirmed in a statement the incident happened on August 21st at Rosa Parks Early Learning Center.

“After this incident, the district took immediate action to investigate and remove the employee. The actions seen in the clip are contrary to all employee training, do not promote a culture conducive to learning, and are not tolerated in Dayton Public Schools,” Lawrence said. “Although the district cannot publicly comment on specific personnel matters, parents and guardians should be assured that the individual is no longer employed. The safety of all students and staff is the district’s utmost priority, and we appreciate the support of families as we work to provide a safe school environment for all.”

Dayton Police is also investigating the incident, a spokesperson said.

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