NORTH MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – A South Florida mother is speaking out after she says her son was assaulted by a custodian at Sabel Palm Elementary School.
Marie Saint-Lote says her 11-year-old son was choked and called a gay slur in the schools cafeteria.READ MORE: CVS, NAACP Team Up To Get COVID Vaccines To People Of Color In South Florida
“I’m hurt because not only did he physically put his hand on my son, he verbally abused my son by telling my son he fight like a f***** when my son struggled to get his hand out of his neck,” said Saint-Lote.
The fifth grader says he was in the school cafeteria when the janitor, who was reportedly the only adult in the room, repeatedly asked students to sit down. The boy says he got up to put his tray away and the janitor grabbed him by the neck and insulted him.
“[Sexual orientation] is a sensitive topic for all kids, kids are killing themselves,” said Saint-Lote. “You call him out… in front of other kids that were laughing at him. You opened the door for my son to be bullied.”
Saint-Lote says what upset her even more is what she considers the schools lack of action. She says she had to pressure the principal to report the incident to police days after it happened.
“The janitor got to go home and continue with his every day activity while my son was frightened to death,” she said.READ MORE: Eye On Earth: 'One Of The Most Peaceful Places In South Florida': Wakodahatchee Wetlands
The family attorney says while this is likely an isolated incident, they want the public to be aware of the incident so something like this doesn’t happen again.
“This is just a bad incident that happened at good school,” said attorney Natasha Mayne. “However an incident like this needs to be publicized because they should not be swept under the table.”
The Miami-Dade School District released a statement that reads: “The allegation was reported to school administrators and is currently under investigation. The employee has been reassigned to a region office pending the outcome of the investigation.”
“I want him fired,” said Saint-Lote. “This is not an individual that should be around children.”
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