Asia Gaines, mother of the 9-year-old boy, said her son suffered bruises all over his body as a result of the September 2018 beating with a thick leather belt. Kristen Haynes, the boy’s homeroom teacher at George Tilton Elementary School, and her friend Juanita Tyler are charged with misdemeanor battery in connection with the alleged abuse.
Haynes, 50, Tyler and Chicago Public Schools are named as defendants in the lawsuit.
The boy – who has not been publically identified – arrived at the school on Sept. 20 and was grabbed by the two women and dragged to a restroom, the suit states. Tyler, 56, hit the boy multiple times with leather belts provided by Haynes and slapped him with her open hand, according to the lawsuit. Tyler is loosely related to the boy, FOX affiliate WFLD-TV in Chicago reported.
The boy was “hardly a ‘problem child’ in Ms. Haynes’ classroom — far from it,” the suit said. “He was punished either for something he did not do or for laughing in class with another boy the previous day.”
After the beating, the boy was brought back to his classroom in tears and “sat at his desk all morning and sobbed uncontrollably, publicly shamed and humiliated by the experience,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
Gaines, 31, learned of the incident when her sister picked the child up from school and saw marks all over his body, according to the paper.
“School is a safe haven for kids, and kids are supposed to be protected no matter what,” Gaines said. “Teachers are supposed to protect kids from hurt, harm or danger, and she failed to.”
Haynes remains on paid leave while the school district completes an internal investigation.