Parents demand answers from MPS following alleged incidents at schools

MILWAUKEE -- Some Milwaukee Public Schools parents are saying enough is enough. They came together Thursday, May 18th to discuss alleged incidents involving their children at school. The parents of the children spoke at a news conference demanding answers, action and accountability.

Community activist, Tory Lowe, brought together the MPS parents who said they're troubled by the alleged actions in the schools.

"What can we do to try to prevent some of these more serious incidents that are involving children?" said Lowe.

Once incident started with a fight in class in April.

"She walked back and kicked me in my back and then I kicked her," said Mariyah Thomas.

Seven-year-old Thomas was escorted to the principal's office by a para-professional -- and it was caught on camera.

"She comes out of the classroom with her arms folded, walking. You see him look over his shoulder and then he grabs her by the hair, and pulls her from the second floor to the elevator," said Melissa Jones, parent.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office declined to press charges for lack of intent to harm.

Lashawn Williamson says she just wants answers. Her special needs son fell off a balcony May 3rd, and suffered facial fractures at school, which has no cameras at the location of the alleged incident.

"We put our trust in these schools to educate our kids," said Williamson. "If we can't trust the schools, who else do we have?"

In anticipation of the news conference, MPS released the following statement:

"MPS is aware of, and the local media has recently reported on, all of these allegations. None of the incidents occurred as described on a local citizen’s Facebook page.

Specifically:

  • In the case of the student who “fell from a balcony” the student purposely jumped from one floor to another through an open stairwell. This was witnessed by another student who he told to watch him while he jumped.
  • In the situation involving the parent who says her daughter was pulled by the hair, the District Attorney’s Office declined to issue charges because it could not prove the individual intended to cause the victim harm.
  • The case of the student who was shocked omits the critical information that the student inserted a metal bracelet she was wearing into an electrical outlet.

The facts of these circumstances are unfortunate and we have worked to support these families. But it is critical that the facts are shared when discussing the safety of our children."

Za'riah Lemmitt

Four-year-old Za'riah Lemmitt received second-degree burns on her arm when she stuck a piece of her metal bracelet into the electrical outlet at nap time at her school. Her grandmother wants MPS to take actions of prevention.

"If it's required for daycares, why isn't it required for the school for the electric sockets to be covered? And as of today they're still not covered," said Kecia Ford, Lemmitt's grandmother.