Mother calls out Lake Forest district after gym incident

Mother calls out Lake Forest district after gym incident
Photo by Element5 Digital / Unsplash

The mother of a student at Lake Forest Central Elementary in Felton is calling out the district after an incident on Tuesday involving a gym teacher.

Regina Young, whose son has a special education plan because of his autism, took to Facebook after the incident, saying she took her son to the hospital where he was diagnosed with head injuries and multiple contusions. She provided paperwork from Bayhealth showing the diagnosis.

Just what happened is murky, because while there is school surveillance video of the encounter it has not been released. Young said she was told that her son was slammed to the ground multiple times.

Delaware State Police spokesperson Master Cpl. Heather Pepper said in an email, “We are currently in the very early stages of the investigation. There is currently no additional information available for release.”

The investigation is ongoing, she said.

Young recorded a conversation with a police investigator who reviewed the school’s video. He told Young that in his opinion no crime was committed, although he did not say if the gym teacher’s actions were appropriate or not.

"It's quite possible to get a bruise without a criminal act occurring," the officer says in the video. "... the bottom line is, I reviewed the video and it is not a criminal act."

“The Lake Forest School District takes all matters of student safety very seriously,” Superintendent Steven Lucas said in an email. “Student welfare is our highest priority. We do not comment on specific incidents, but all matters in the district are handled judiciously in accordance with all laws and applicable policies.”

Because the district and police aren't yet offering further comment, we don't know much about the district's view on the case or the gym teacher's side of the story.

Young thinks the school should have gotten her son medical care, and she objected to the officer’s conclusion that what happened was not a crime. She also told the officer that the school did not contact her about the incident.

She told the Independent she has asked for an emergency meeting with the school, which she says did not follow the individualized plan in place for her son related to his autism.  

Young's Facebook posts have garnered hundreds of shares and comments.

Andrea Jackson of Milford, whose 10-year-old daughter reported the incident, said in her daughter's account the boy was slammed to the ground and hit his head.

"My daughter said she was shaken," Jackson said. The girl is very shy, she said, so for her to be talking about it she must have been really concerned.

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