An alleged violent incident between a 13-year-old Georgia student and a school staff member resulted in a life-altering injury, said the boy’s family.
The family of Montravious Thomas claim that behavioral specialist, Bryant Mosley, physically attacked the young student on his first day at AIM/Edgewood Student Services Center on Sept. 12. The alternative school houses students who have been temporarily removed from their assigned schools due to disruptive behavior.
According to a Columbus Police Department incident report, Mosley told off-duty officer Lt. Consuelo Askew, who was working part-time at the school, that “he had to physically restrain a student, [Thomas] due to behavioral issues,” reported WTVM.
However, Renee Tucker, an attorney for the family said Mosley used excessive force when he handled Thomas. Tucker said on the day of the alleged incident, Thomas, who was the only student in the classroom, wanted to leave the classroom to call his mother from the main office to pick him up. As Thomas tried to leave the classroom, Mosley slammed him to the floor. When he tried to leave again, he was slammed to the floor again. It’s not clear how times this occurred.
Tucker said that assistant principal Eddie Powell reportedly witnessed the incident and a school resources officer observed Thomas limping after the alleged attack.
“I don’t think there’s any explanation that a teacher can give as to why he didn’t want him to go to the administrative office to call his mother,” Tucker said, reported the Ledger Enquirer.
Thomas was allegedly told that school officials would call an ambulance, but changed their minds. Once classes were dismissed, Mosley carried an injured Thomas to an idle school bus without notifying his family of the events that had transpired.
The boy’s mom, Lawanda, took him to Columbus hospital when he got home and he was subsequently airlifted to an Atlanta hospital. One month later, Thomas injuries appeared to have worsened, as he told Tucker that his leg was numb.
“They placed an injured student on the school bus,” Tucker said. “We don’t know the extent that the injuries were worsened by the failure to render aid and certainly by picking him up and seating him on the school bus. Then they had him ride in that same school bus home without any support or stabilization of that leg.”
AllOnGeorgia reported that since the alleged incident, Thomas has undergone four surgeries. Doctors at Egleston Children’s Hospital informed the family on Oct. 16 that Thomas’s nerve damage was so severe, his right leg would have to be amputated on Oct. 18.
“My client is certainly aware of the situation and naturally he’s emotional. Doctors talked to him and his mother on Sunday and told him they were having to take his leg since they were unable to improve the flow of blood to his lower leg. Right now we are all concerned for his long-term health,” Tucker said.
Tucker said there is surveillance footage of the incident and she submitted an open records request to the Muscogee County School’s board attorney on Sept. 29, including records concerning the teacher’s training, the teacher and assistant principal’s personnel record, and the rules and regulations for physically restraining students.
Muscogee County School District Director of Communications Valerie Fuller issued a statement offering prayers to the family and adding that Mosley was an independent contractor and wasn’t employed by the district.
“It is our understanding that there were issues concerning the safety of the child and others in the room, which called for the use of restraint per state guidance,” read the statement. “Physical restraint is allowed in Georgia public schools and educational programs in those situations in which the student is an immediate danger to himself or others and the student is not responsive to less intensive behavioral interventions including verbal directives or other de-escalation techniques.”
The family intends to file a lawsuit based on the handling of the student and the aftermath, including the alleged refusal to render medical aid.
“We issued an ante litem notice that had a number of $5 million,” Tucker said. “Our investigation is still ongoing, and I think we all have an interest in certainly getting to the bottom of it.”
Mosley has not been charged with any crimes related to the alleged incident, according to WTVM.