A 13-year-old had his right leg amputated below the knee after a behavioral specialist repeatedly body slammed him, according to a $25 million lawsuit that the boy’s mother filed against the Muscogee County School District (MCSD).
Lawanda Thomas claims her son, Montravious, was slammed several times by Bryant Alexander Mosley at the Edgewood Student Services Center, an alternative school where students are possibly sent to for breaking district-wide code.
A bus supposedly picked up the seventh-grader from his home at 11:30 am and took him to the center. Montravious was the only student in the class. According to a lawsuit acquired by the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, the teen asked to go to the principal to call his mother at 1:30. It was then they say that Mosley physically blocked the doorway and “initiated the use of multiple violent body-slamming events to prevent him from leaving the classroom.”
Video purportedly captured Mosley—who allegedly weighed 100 pounds more than Montravious—is accused of slamming the 13-year-old at least five times and forced him into the “prone position.” The plaintiffs claimed that nobody intervened during the September 12 incident.
Montravious had part of his right leg amputated in late October. Renee Tucker, the attorney representing the boy and his family, told CNN at the time that the school never called an ambulance. Instead, she says the same contracted behavioral therapist who slammed him “threw him over the shoulder and carried him to the bus.”
Lawanda immediately took her son to the emergency room, where he was determined to have suffered a dislocated knee and a broken tibia—with the latter injury severing veins that transported blood to his foot.
The video’s emergence called into question the district’s account of the story. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported in October that the footage captured Montravious being carried out of class. However, a statement released by the MCSD days prior stated that the seventh-grader was “was up and walking and not in distress” following the ordeal.
The lawsuit filed Monday alleged that Montravious has amassed more than $600,436 in medical expenses. The plaintiffs are also seeking punitive damages, bringing their suit up to $25 million.
In addition to the school district, the personal injury suit names seven other defendants: David F. Lewis, the superintendent of education; Mosley; Gisela M. Huggins, a county bus driver; Zehra S. Malone, Montravious’ teacher; Eddie Powell, an assistant principal at Edgewood; Mentoring & Behavioral Services, LLC, who employed Mosley, and; Phyllis Fox, Montravious’ paraprofessional at Edgewood.
MCSD communications director Valerie Fuller told the Ledger-Enquirer in an email that the child and staff’s safety was at risk, which allowed for the use of state-permitted restraint techniques. Fuller wrote:
“Physical restraint is allowed in Georgia public schools and educational programs in those situations in which the student is an immediate danger to himself or others and the student is not responsive to less intensive behavioral interventions including verbal directives or other de-escalation techniques.”
Mosley is no longer associated with the MCSD. Tucker told the Ledger-Enquirer on Tuesday that the teen is still undergoing physical therapy and hasn’t returned to school.
The attorney said to AJC on Tuesday: “We feel pretty good about the case.”
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