HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Allegations of child abuse are being leveled at a Huntsville area school.
The mother of a 14 year-old student who attends Pinnacle School tells WHNT News 19 that her son was beaten by a school staff member last week after the boy reportedly acted up in class.
Michelle Klaff said her son and four other students were ordered to do military-style exercises for their punishment, and were repeatedly struck on their sides when they fell off pace. Klaff told us her son suffered significant bruising, and had to be taken to the emergency room.
“When I picked him up from school he came running to the car and said ‘Mom, they beat the mess out of me,” said Klaff. “He said the security guard would come up behind him and slap him directly in his ribs…There’s still no excuse for a teacher to come forward and put their hands on your child. There needs to be punishment besides just being fired.”
Pinnacle Schools CEO Karen Lee declined to talk on camera, but did confirm that the accused staff member had been placed on paid administrative leave. Officials with the Huntsville Police Department told WHNT News 19 that no charges have been filed, but added that the case remains under investigation. Lee issued a statement on the allegations via e-mail.
“This incident arose involving a student in our Raise Program when one of our staff discovered marks on a student,” the statement read. “Per our policy, we contacted DHR and informed the parent. Upon learning of the allegations against a staff member, and per our policy, that employee was placed on administrative leave. The Pinnacle Schools is presently investigating this matter…It’s never appropriate to assume guilt or innocence of an individual based on allegations.”
Pinnacle School is a privately-run alternative campus that takes in students who have been expelled from Huntsville City Schools and other local districts.