HOMER, Ill. (WCIA) — A parent of a Heritage Elementary school student is speaking out after an incident involving her daughter and a teacher.
Bailey Gray said her daughter Leia told her she ran out of her classroom past special education teacher Meghan McDaniel’s classroom. That’s when she said McDaniel chased after her and pulled her to the ground by her hair. Gray said she couldn’t believe it.
“I cried, I was so mad,” Gray said. “I personally can think of so many other things to do before grabbing a child by her hair.”
Bailey said she was told by school officials this incident did not happen. That’s when she said she decided to call law enforcement. The Champaign County Sheriff’s office conducted their investigation and said they felt there was probable cause to charge the 45-year-old teacher with battery.
State’s attorney Julia Rietz said they will not be pursuing any criminal charges. She said she believes the appropriate place for the incident to be handled is at the school level. Superintendent Tom Davis of heritage school district eight sent us a statement regarding the matter.
Part of it says quote:
Student safety is the highest priority at Heritage School District.
As a public school district, we cannot comment concerning student information citing Illinois School Code 105 ILCS 10/6 which states “No school student records or information contained therein may be released, transferred, disclosed or otherwise disseminated.
The district also abides by FERPA in student matters. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law that protects the privacy interests of families and students.
The district cannot comment on employee personnel matters citing Illinois work privacy guidelines and employees’ right to due process.Tom Davis, Heritage School District #8
Gray said she hasn’t spoken to McDaniel since the incident. But she does have one question for her.
“Why after my child dropped to the floor did you not get on level with her and say, ‘Hey, Leia this is inappropriate behavior, we can not accept this right now,” said Gray. “And you really need to walk with me to the office,’ instead of just grabbing her by the arm and dragging her down the hallway?”
Gray said this is the first week her daughter has been back to school since the incident. She said her daughter told her McDaniel apologized to her for everything that happened. We tried reaching out to McDaniel to see if she would talk, but we have not heard back yet.