OKCPS Teacher's Aide On Administrative Leave As Police Investigate Alleged Choking Of Elementary Student

An Oklahoma City elementary school teacher’s aide was placed on administrative leave on Thursday pending the investigation of an alleged assault, according to district officials.

Friday, April 15th 2022, 6:16 pm



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An Oklahoma City elementary school teacher’s aide was placed on administrative leave on Thursday pending the investigation of an alleged assault, according to district officials. A six-year-old student’s mother told police the employee choked her child. 

Lucinda Romero met officers at Buchanan Elementary in northwest Oklahoma City the day after her son described being choked and pulled across the cafeteria floor.  

“The assault, that’s assault,” said Lucinda Romero, parent. “You can’t choke a six-year-old child.”  

Romero said she never imagined her child would be hurt at school and allegedly by a teacher. 

“The teacher grabbed him by the back of his shirt, the hood of his shirt,” said Romero. “Pulled up, choked him where it made him feel like he couldn’t breathe and then dragged him across the cafeteria floor.” 

An officer watched security video and confirmed seeing the employee grab the child by the hoodie. The officer noted in the report, the child was pulled while he was on his hands and knees. Police said the boy had visible scratches on his neck but no bruises. 

The teacher's aide was not arrested but police said this was an open investigation. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services was also notified. 

“Anytime there is an allegation of a child being injured it’s not unusual to have an officer notify DHS,” said Msgt. Gary Knight, Oklahoma City Police Department.  

Oklahoma City Public School district officials sent a statement in response to the incident. 

“On April 14th, Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) was made aware of an incident involving a paraprofessional (teacher assistant) at Buchanan Elementary that indicated the employee was potentially in violation of board policy and/or regulations. This incident is now being investigated. As is routine in these situations, this employee has been placed on Administrative Leave pending the result of the investigation. OKCPS is also cooperating with local law enforcement regarding this matter. Because this is a personnel issue, we cannot provide any further comment at this time.” 

Romero said she is worried how the incident will impact her son long term.   

“Is he ever going to be able to trust teachers or schools?” said Romero. “Or will he always think that teachers will become violent?”  

Romero said she was not allowed to see the security video. News 9 also requested the video, but district officials said it was part of the police investigation and could not be released. 


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