NOTTOWAY COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Nottoway mother reached out to 8News for answers after a video surfaced of her son being restrained at school in February.
Ashley Skeens said her son, 15-year-old Kahmaree Green, got into an altercation with another student at Nottoway High School on February 27th. Moments later, video captures an staff member trying to contain Green before pinning him to the ground, face down.
The video shows Green pinned down for more than two minutes, and you can see the student’s head rotating back and forth.
“You could’ve taken him down that way, but you could’ve rolled him over instantly,” Skeens said in an interview Monday. “You don’t have to lay on top of him like that for 2 minutes and 15 seconds… he’s on top of him.”
The video appears to show Green in what is called a ‘prone restraint,’ a type of physical restraint where an agitated individual is placed in a face-down position. According to Virginia code, this type of restraint is prohibited in elementary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth.
“The fact that all of these people just sat around and watched it happen… In my opinion, no difference then what everyone did when George Floyd was down in the same restraint,” Skeens said.
8News obtained records showing Green’s emotional outburst during the alleged altercation was a direct result of a disability. Recent data from the U.S. Department of Education shows 80% of students subjected to physical restraint, were students with disabilities.
“My son had 18 strokes when he was two,” Skeens said. “To watch him lay in a position by the hands of a person supposed to take care of him… face down on the floor like that unable to move or talk, it took me back to then.”
8News reporter Autumn Childress reached out to Nottoway County Schools for an explanation. Rj Greger, Director of Human Resources and Community Relations, said “The incident that occurred was unfortunate and we handled it the best we could. The student can return to school and we are communicating with the student’s family.”
The school division did not address the restraint itself and offer clarity as to why the banned ‘prone restraint’ was used. Skeens said she’s met with school administrators, but has not received an explanation.
“If something isn’t done and the school system doesn’t do a better job of training teachers…somebody’s kids is gonna get hurt,” she said. “The only way it would’ve taken it serious is if someone died.”