A child abuse investigation is underway on Wednesday after video surfaced purporting to show a student being physically abused by a teacher at Lynwood High School, authorities said.
The teacher allegedly abused the 15-year-old boy around 9 a.m. last Thursday in a classroom on the campus, which is located at 4050 E. Imperial Highway in Lynwood, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
In a statement, the Lynwood Unified School District said that two students were apparently involved in a verbal altercation when the teacher “intervened and physically restrained one of the students.”
Video posted to an attorney’s Facebook page captured part of the incident, including what appears to be the teacher placing the student in a chokehold.
The 10th grader, who identified himself as Andrew Boyd, told KTLA the encounter traumatized him.
“So I guess he grabbed me and put me in a chokehold. And as soon as he put me in a chokehold, I immediately tapped out,” Boyd said, patting his chest. “As I was tapping out, he was not letting me go, he refused to let me go.”
The teacher was immediately removed from the classroom and has been placed on administrative leave amid the investigation, according to the statement.
Sheriff’s officials identified the teacher only as a 53-year-old man, but did not release his name.
“The Lynwood Unified School District does not condone physical violence in any form and takes this matter very seriously. We are fully committed to ensuring all of our schools are safe and secure learning environments for our students, families, and staff,” the statement read.
Boyd’s mother, however, told KTLA that she was not informed about what transpired by the school or the district.
“I got on my phone and I see that video, and there was nothing I could do,” said Wlette Jones. “So, I immediately text the counselor, ‘Hey, why wasn’t I informed?’ And I sent the video behind it, and all she could say was, ‘Can you come to the school in the morning?’”
Jones also disputed the account that her son was involved in some type of altercation with the other teen, alleging that he was the aggressor.
“I’m hurting. Because it’s unfair,” Jones said.
The cellphone video has been provided to the department, but investigators are seeking any additional footage of the incident.
Anyone with video or has information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau by calling 877-710-5273 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.