Lanisha Harris of Canarsie says her daughter, Ariana Branch, is traumatized and scared to go to school since she was manhandled in kindergarten class at Brooklyn Public School 279, leaving cuts and bruises on the girl’s arm.
Harris said she reported the matter to PS 279 administrators but the staffer allegedly responsible remains on the job in Ariana’s class.
Harris said her daughter, who’s five years old, was devastated by the incident.
“I’m concerned for my daughter’s safety and I’m concerned about her being re-traumatized,” said Harris, 44, a community coordinator.
But Harris also said that PS 279 administrators refused to view photos of Ariana’s injuries and did not have her examined by a school nurse, leading Harris to believe that the school is not taking the matter seriously.
Harris wants her allegations investigated by someone outside the school and wants the assistant teacher removed from her daughter’s class in the meantime.
The assistant teacher and Chambers both failed to respond to requests for comment.
City Education Department spokesman Doug Cohen said Chambers originally reported Harris’s accusations to the Department’s Office of Special Investigation, but officials there sent the matter back to Chambers for a school-based investigation.
Cohen also said that Chambers reviewed the photos Harris took for Ariana’s arm, which is something Harris disputes.
“All classrooms must be safe and supportive learning environments, and we take these allegations extremely seriously,” said Cohen of Harris’s charges. “The principal is conducting a diligent investigation and we’ll take appropriate follow up action.”