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Laveen school administrator removed after restraining 10-year-old; mother wants policy changes

The Laveen Elementary School District is under scrutiny after a video was released showing a superintendent physically restraining a fifth-grade student.

The student’s mother, Danielle Jordan, testified at a meeting of the district's governing board Thursday night. 

Jordan said in April of this year, her son was suspended, but she was not notified. The next day, her son went to school, and was followed to the office and grabbed by Academic Superintendent Kathy Davis. Jordan said her son was not a threat.

“My baby’s 10 years old, he’s 5’ 3”, size 10 shoe," Jordan said. "He could’ve took her if he wanted to. Let’s be honest, he’s a big kid. He didn’t push her, he didn’t even elbow her. He didn’t fight back.”

The school district put out a statement saying it has determined that the incident was an “improper restraint” and the administrator is no longer working for the district.

Board President Jill Barragan said: "We acknowledge that the holds used in the video were not appropriate and we do not condone such conduct. Our staff members undergo training for holds and will continue to undergo training."

Jordan said more needs to be done.

“Get a third party in here to teach training to deal with kids with mental health, to deal with kids with special needs, to deal with normal kids with no needs," Jordan told the board. "Get somebody in here that’s going to make a difference and stop hanging on to employees that are doing harm.”

Jordan’s lawyer wrote a letter to the Maricopa County attorney asking that the incident be referred for criminal prosecution.

Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.