The family of a fourth-grade boy has filed a lawsuit against the City of Chicago, the city’s Board of Education, the principal of Fiske Elementary, a school counselor, and a security guard, claiming that the listed parties forced a child outside on a cold March day wearing only a short-sleeved shirt, and then later lied about the incident.
According to CNN, the child’s mother, Yvonne Pinkston, revealed earlier this week that from the time her son enrolled at Fiske, he was subject to bullying. School staff, the complaint accused, “failed to take any action” to protect him from classmates, and then “even became abusive towards him.”
The family is now seeking a jury trial.
The family’s attorney, Dan Herbert, who showed surveillance footage from the school said that the child “sat outside in the cold, with a polo shirt on, for 30 minutes, scared, traumatized and freezing.”
The surveillance footage showed a school security guard pulling the boy into an office, before showing him to a door minutes later.
The lawsuit claimed that the principal, a counselor, and the security guard “created a barrier” to stop the boy from staying inside the building.
Later it turns out, the school made a 911 call reporting a missing child after the boy left the building. The school allegedly claimed that the boy “walked out of school and needs a report.”
“They said that this kid ran out of the school. He was thrown out of the school,” Herbert said.
“The school called the police because they were required to make a report,” Herbert added. “They lied. They said this kid was biting, scratching, kicking other kids. It didn’t happen.”
The lawsuit also pointed out that the school is in a “predominantly impoverished and high-crime community,” sparking further concern for the family.
“Anything could have happened to my son out there,” Pinkston said. “Anything. In that neighborhood? Anything could have happened.”
Chicago Public Schools spokesperson Emily Bolton has said that the security guard involved in the incident has since been “removed from his position” and noted that the district was looking into the principal’s role in the events.
“These allegations are deeply disturbing, and we are fully committed to holding accountable any adult whose actions could have endangered a student,” Bolton said.