Rob Mueller-Owens, acting principal at Whitehorse Middle School in Madison, Wisconsin, has been placed on leave after allegedly attacking an 11-year-old student. Mueller-Owens reportedly tackled, pushed, and punched the child, as well as ripping three braids from her head. This alleged attack was caught on camera, which undoubtedly will help bring the child justice (or at the very least, clarity to this situation), as police and the school district are now investigating.
As first reported by WISC-TV, Mikiea Price filed a police report after her daughter told her about the incident, which happened on Feb. 13. Speaking to Madison 365, Price said that her daughter was “crying and her lip was cracked, bleeding and she handed me three of her braids that were pulled out from her scalp.” Price continued, ”Just the whole experience is just traumatic and devastating and just confusing. I’m just disgusted at this whole incident. You know I send my kid to school to learn, and that’s a place where mothers send their kids to be comfortable in. I just feel violated in so many ways that … this even happened to her.”
Price, who has worked as a substitute teacher for Whitehorse Middle School, alleges that no one gave her daughter medical care or called her about the incident.
Pastor Marcus Allen is acting as a spokesperson for the Price family and gave an interview to Yahoo Lifestyle on what allegedly occurred. Allen reports that he has seen the school video, which shows what happened in the hallway, but not in the classroom. He said, “I am told that the girl and her friend had sprayed perfume on themselves in the bathroom and the scent was bothering the teacher’s allergies. The teacher asked who sprayed it and the class didn’t answer, so she asked [Mueller-Owens] to come in, and he targeted this one girl… He stayed on top of her for 10 or 15 seconds.”
Where does the fall come into this? Allen tells Yahoo that, as seen on the video, the principal lost his balance and fell on top of the child after pushing her out of the classroom and into a row of lockers. At what point her braids were torn out is unclear. What is clear, however, is that the child is too afraid to go back to school.
The Madison Metropolitan School District released the following statement about the incident:
“As a District, we take any situation of this nature very seriously. All of our students need to be safe and supported in school, and we have a thorough investigation process and protocol that we follow. While we cannot talk about the details of a specific student or personnel situation, it is our responsibility to consider all of the facts of the situation and determine the right next steps.
The staff person was put on leave while the situation was investigated. Based on that investigation, the staff person will not return to Whitehorse Middle School, and we are determining next steps. In addition, our team is coming together to create a full support plan to ensure that students is safe and fully supported at school.”
As reported by Madison 365, Mueller-Owens is somehow the seventh educator to be accused of some pretty disturbing behavior at Madison schools in this academic year alone. Two substitutes and four teachers have been fired (or forced to resign) after using racial slurs in classes. A school bus driver was fired for hitting a black child. In the high school, a teacher resigned after using a racial slur in the classroom.