Student sent home from school bruised, claims PE teacher slammed him onto concrete

By Brandon Walker - Reporter
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HOUSTON - The mother of a child with special needs alleges a PE teacher attacked her son, slamming him onto concrete, leaving bruises from his face to his hands.

“This scar that’s right here. He has scratches on his chest,” said Ashley Degrate, describing the bruises over her son, Cavontrell Smith.

Smith, 10, is enrolled in fifth grade at the Aldine Education Center at 1702 Aldine Bender Road. The center is considered an alternative school. Cavontrell is there, his mother says, because of a behavioral and emotional disorder.  

“Whenever he has an outbreak from his emotions they’re supposed to be trained to deal with it in a proper manner,” Degrate said. 

It was not her son that caused a problem, Degrate alleges.  Rather, it was a PE teacher, who allegedly whispered obscenities into Cavontrell’s ear during the attack. Cavontrell said the attack occurred after a run-in with another student on the playground.

“Blood was coming out of my eye because he hit me multiple times and then when I put my hand here there was a big old knot,” Cavontrell said.

The alleged attack occurred Thursday. Degrate told KPRC2 the school’s principal called her to tell her about Cavontrell’s injuries, but left details short.

“He told me that my son had fractures and bruises on his face that it might look bad but it’s not as bad as it looks,” she said.

Degrate said what the principal told her on the phone could not have been further from the truth.  She said she saw the extent of her son’s injuries once the school bus dropped him off at the end of the day.

“When he got off the bus -- oh my god!” she said.

A spokesman for Aldine ISD released a statement to KPRC2, which read, “Aldine ISD is aware of the allegation and the incident is currently under investigation. Once the investigation is complete, the district will take appropriate action.”

While the school district would not go into further detail, Degrate said the teacher was suspended, a ruling Degrate thinks was not strong enough.

“I just want them to take action. It’s not right. Nobody’s child should have to deal with this.  No parent should have to deal with this.  It’s just not right,” Degrate said.

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