Mum claims 5-year-old with ADHD was put in a chokehold for singing too loudly in class
"If I did that at home, they’d call Child Protective Services, so I don’t understand why it would be allowed in schools."
A mother in the US has sued her children's school district after her five-year-old son was put in a chokehold.
In October 2018, Pamela Ononiwu was horrified to find her son being put in a chokehold by a school resource officer when she went to pick him up from his school in Fairfax Station, Virginia for a dentist appointment.
The mum claimed school staff had called the officer when the boy, who has ADHD, wouldn't stop loudly singing in Spanish class.
“To my shock and horror, I found my son being put in a chokehold,” Pamela, 37, told Today. “This school resource officer was holding him at a 90 degree angle.
“My son kept trying to kick to get out of it, and the tighter the grip got. I repeatedly told him to let my son go.
“I was scared because I was like, ‘Will I also be shot dead trying to save my son?’ But I said it’s worth it because I’m not gonna be here and let my son die or pass out in front of me,” the mum shared.
The officer eventually let the boy go and pushed him away.
Pamela said she confronted the school principal, school district officials and school board members after the incident, but claimed nobody "had any empathy."
“Nobody thought it was heinous that a child was in a chokehold,” she said.
The terrifying incident and the subsequent lack of action from education officials prompted Pamela to sue the district’s school system and run for its school board in a bid to end restraint and seclusion protocols in its schools.
The mum joined a lawsuit, alongside two other parents, accusing the school system of bringing “psychological trauma” and “physical harm” on children with disabilities and using restraints and seclusion to “silence, detain, segregate, and punish” them.
“There are alternatives. There are other ways to do this,” the mum continued. “If you are claiming a child has things to work on, the solution isn’t just to throw them in a room.
“If I did that at home, they’d call Child Protective Services, so I don’t understand why it would be allowed in schools.”
According to Pamela, the suit was recently settled with both a monetary agreement and drastic policy changes.