Father says teacher “roughed up” his 9-year-old daughter at school

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — On Tuesday 9-year-old Gertrude Ellis dressed up as a princess for Halloween. But the fourth grader says what happened Monday at Magnolia Elementary School was no fairy tale.

"He put my hands behind my back and put my head on the ground," she said.

Gertrude claims an assistant teacher pushed her to the floor of her classroom, causing her to have bruises above each eye and scratches on her left shoulder.

"I couldn't breathe, and I started getting all of these bruises on my face."

The alleged incident happened after she was told to move from a "bean bag" where she was on her computer.

"He told me to get up, but the main teacher said stay on."

Gertrude admits that she started kicking a desk before she was restrained. Oscar Ellis is outraged at what reportedly happened to his daughter.

"I just don't want to see this assistant teacher hurting these kids like this here," he said.

He says he took his daughter to her family physician and was told flat out, "It's an assault. He said, "It's an assault," and that I needed to call the police."

The doctor's report stated "unspecified multiple injuries and unspecified child maltreatment." Oscar then took his daughter to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital.

After talking to WREG, Oscar and Gertrude went to Magnolia Elementary to talk to the principal about the alleged assault.

According to Oscar, the principal didn't know anything about what allegedly happened to Gertrude.

We tried to get a copy of the police report on the matter but were told it's not in the system yet and that it's an open investigation.

Shelby County Schools sent us a statement saying, "Any allegation involving the safety and well-being of a child is always taken extremely seriously. The school has followed all proper procedures for reporting this matter so it can be investigated by the appropriate authorities. The employee has also been referred to Labor Relations for further review, which is standard District procedure."

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