Parents of Md. girl beaten at school unhappy with school's respo - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Parents of Md. girl beaten at school unhappy with school's response

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Phersephone Holland and Rodney Smyers read letter sent from the principal of Thomas Claggett Elementary School about the incident. Phersephone Holland and Rodney Smyers read letter sent from the principal of Thomas Claggett Elementary School about the incident.
DISTRICT HEIGHTS, Md. -

Prince George’s County Public Schools officials are addressing a beating at Thomas Claggett Elementary School that left a 7-year-old first grader unconscious and with a concussion on Tuesday Morning.

The girl was beaten by four boys in her class during recess in the school's gymnasium.

Her angry parents wanted to know how it could happen at school.

On Wednesday, the school's principal issued a letter to parents about what happened.

In the one-page letter, Jeanetta Rainey tells parents "an incident occurred Tuesday during indoor recess." It goes on to say that the hope is that the letter "will help clarify any misinformation you may have heard." It says, "A child was injured and taken by paramedics to the hospital and later released."

FOX 5 showed the letter to Phersephone Holland and Rodney Smyers, the injured girl's parents. They say it was the first time they have heard anything from school officials about the incident. They say they are outraged by what they say isn't being said.

"This incident was not minor,” Holland says. “This was a major incident. A child was knocked unconscious for minutes."

Smyers adds, "What were they misinformed about? That my child didn't get knocked out? That she didn't get hurt at school? It was an accident?"

They say what happened Tuesday morning is that their daughter was pushed, swung and beaten by at least four boys in her class during recess. She was left unconscious and was taken to the hospital by ambulance where she was diagnosed with a concussion.

The letter says the safety of students is the utmost importance and that the school will continue to ensure that students have a safe environment.

Holland and Smyers don't believe it.

"Where were the teachers? Smyers asks. "How did my child get hurt if the utmost importance is safety?"

Smyers says they have taken their daughter out of harm's way. She will no longer attend Thomas Claggett Elementary School.

Holland says, "I am relieved."

She and Smyers have started the Facebook page, "SosoHoland," for parents of children in Prince George’s County schools who are being bullied to share their stories and bring attention to the problem.


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