Nonverbal 3-year-old boy hit by school employee, parents say

An Ohio public school worker was fired after he's caught on video hitting a nonverbal student, causing the child to fall. WHIO, FAMILY HANDOUT, CNN
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 3:31 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DAYTON, Ohio (WHIO) - A Dayton Public Schools employee was fired after the district said he was caught on video hitting a nonverbal 3-year-old student and causing him to fall to the ground.

Robert Tootle, the child’s father, says he was initially told that his son bumped his head, with no mention of the staff member’s actions.

It was Child Protective Services that informed him of what happened to Braylen.

“We can’t go put our hands on a kid and walk away, you’ll go to jail,” Tootle said.

Tootle and mother Taneshia Lindsay are frustrated by what happened to their 3-year-old son with autism.

“It just made me mad; I want to be physical with (the staffer) but I can’t,” Tootle said. “I have to do it the right way.”

“I see my baby getting assaulted,” Lindsay said.

They shared the video and said it is crushing to watch an adult chase down their son, smack him in the back of the head, pick him up by his ankles and walk back down the hall.

“I was told there wasn’t any videos in the classroom, but it didn’t happen in the classroom,” Lindsay said. “It was the hallway.”

They said Braylen is not capable of using the restroom on his own, and the para-professional aide had apparently taken the child. They were returning to the classroom when the 3-year-old wiggled free of a wagon or stroller.

The parents said they are speaking out because there are other autistic children at the learning center, and they don’t want any similar incidents to happen to other children and their parents.

“We let y’all have our baby, and this happened on the second day,” the mom said.

A Dayton Public Schools spokesperson said after the incident the district took immediate action to investigate and remove the employee.

“The actions seen in the clip are contrary to all employee training, do not promote a culture conducive to learning and are not tolerated in Dayton Public Schools,” they said.

These parents are pleased the employee won’t be in any more schools but feel like the district should have been more open with them about the incident and shared the video with them before Child Services and Dayton police received their copies.

“Why is the parent the last one to see something happen to their kid?” Tootle said.

Dayton police have not said anything about potential charges against that employee or identified him.

The school district says parents and guardians should be assured that the individual is no longer employed.