NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Ayesha Smalls wants nothing more than for her 11-year-old daughter AniyJah to be healthy, happy and safe. But on January 26, Smalls says a substitute teacher at Larrymore Elementary put her hands on her daughter.
“She said, 'Mommy, we were standing in line about to go to class so we can go to the buses, and she grabbed me by my collar and pulled me,'” said Smalls.
Smalls said the teacher also made fun of her daughter’s name by laughing at it and purposely calling her other names.
Smalls said in the days following the incident, her daughter faced such extreme neck pains that doctors diagnosed her with torticollis, a kind of neck strain.
After reporting the incident to the school, Smalls said she was told other students saw the incident and reported it as well.
But Smalls said dealing with the school district hasn't been easy, and that she's been kept in the dark.
“I’ve been getting the runaround, runaround, runaround to the point where I can’t... it’s stressful. I can’t do it no more,” Smalls said.
When asked for comment, Norfolk Public Schools sent 13News Now this statement:
"Norfolk Public Schools takes any allegation of assault very seriously. There are no findings at this point, however, the incident remains under active investigation," and "The substitute is restricted from any assignments until after the investigation is completed."
Smalls said she filed a police report, but said the police can’t do anything without the teacher’s name, something Smalls says the school district will not share.
“That shows you are protecting her [the substitute teacher] more than you’re protecting this one [AniyJah],” said Smalls.