Exclusive: Alleged assault caught on video at Chicago charter school, teacher fired

ABC7 has obtained exclusive video of an alleged assault at Betty Shabazz International Charter School, and a teacher was fired because of it.
April 12, 2014 6:54:12 AM PDT
ABC7 has obtained exclusive video of an alleged assault at Betty Shabazz International Charter School, and a teacher was fired because of it.

Witnesses say it began with a teacher trying to break up a loud conversation between two students in the hallway, but it led to a physical confrontation.

It is shaky video from a student's cell phone. A Chicago mother says it shows a teacher at Betty Shabazz International Charter School dragging her daughter by the hair down the hall and pushing her up against the door and into the girls' restroom. The student is 14, an 8th grader, and her mother says she's outraged.

"I almost lost it, yes, because no child should be sent to school to have to deal with that abuse from a teacher," said the student's mother.

The student's mother wants to protect her identity out of concern for repercussions against her daughter.

The teacher has been identified as Donyale Wallace. She has taught 7th and 8th grade at the school for seven years, and according to administrators, she's popular and successful.

But after seeing the video, the school's CEO says he had no choice but to fire her.

"There was no clear justification that I could see to keep even a quality teacher who put their hands on a child," said David Ireland, Betty Shabazz International Charter School

According to the girl's mother, the incident started with a loud discussion in the hall involving her daughter and other students. She claims the teacher singled out her daughter and began verbally abusing her, and that led to the physical confrontation.

Her mother says some of her daughter's hair was pulled out, but otherwise she suffered no physical injuries. But she says her daughter has been emotionally upset and will need counseling.

"When we send our children to school, we feel that they should be in a safe environment. And that was the last thing that I could imagine would happen to my daughter," said the student's mother.

Because the school involved is a charter school, the teacher is not represented by the union and is unable to appeal the decision to fire her. ABC7 was unable to reach the teacher for comment.


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