Author: Will Kenneally
Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne says no charges will be filed against the Madison school staffer who pulled out a black student’s braids.
The district attorney says that what happened at Whitehorse Middle School does not reach the bar for criminal activity.
“It is my job to review all the information and render an opinion based on how the law defines a crime,” Ozanne said. “I have done that, and in this case, I do not believe a crime was committed.”
Ozanne’s investigation stems from an incident last month during which an administrator at the middle school allegedly pushed a student as he tried to get her to leave a classroom for disciplinary reasons. The altercation escalated, according to Madison 365, and the administrator ended up pulling out some of the 11-year-old’s braids.
The child’s mother, Mikiea Price spoke outside of the district attorney’s office today. She says the incident would not have happened to a white student.
“I know that with Michael Brown or Trayvon Martin that none of these people’s lives matter,” Price said. “I knew in my heart that the process was all over the place–that all they cared about was not locking up this white teacher.”
She adds that there is a specific protocol that was not followed in the incident with her daughter.
“I’m a [substitute teacher] for the Madison school district and I’ve been put in several situations where students have kicked me, have spit [on] me, have broke my ankle,” Price said, “and I still did not conduct myself in that type of manner.”
Ozanne would not comment on whether the school administrator should receive disciplinary action from the district.
Price’s family and Mt. Zion Pastor Marcus Allen want more from the process.
“This has been a flawed process through the whole thing and even Ismael said to himself that this process has gone off kilter in some manner or some type of way,” Allen said.
Ozanne says however, that he met with the family to discuss his investigation.
“I collaborated with multidisciplinary partners and met with this child’s mother, grandmother and pastor,” Ozanne said. “I also requested some additional follow up investigation to be done to ensure all aspects of this incident were considered.”
The administrator remains on leave from the district and according to the Cap Times will not return to the school.
Last week, the district’s superintendent released an open letter about the incident, calling it “especially horrific.” It is unclear what disciplinary action may take place against the administrator.