Jackson man says assault at school was preventable - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson man says assault at school was preventable

By Cheryl Lasseter - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - 12-year-old Tykeira Fields has gotten head shots taken for modeling. But her dreams are temporarily on the back burner, after a violent incident at Peeples Middle School.

Tykeira said on Monday around nine a.m. in the gym, she told a 12-year-old male student he missed a belt loop. She says he got mad and threw her face first onto the hard floor. The result? An unsightly chipped tooth and lots of pain. Tykeira says it's hard to talk.

"(The dentist) told me I'd have to come back Tuesday to get it fixed," she said.

She hasn't been back to school since.

"I want her to feel safe at school," says her father, Jimmie Fields.  Fields says he found out there were no adults in the gym when the assault occurred.

"Where (are) the people being paid to watch them?  If you have to put some monitors to help you out while you're up there, that's what you do. That could have been a gun or a knife, I would have lost my child," he said.

Fields said he's also learned there are two security guards at the school, not enough to maintain control. 

We asked Jackson Public Schools about security. Their response was, "We are constantly evaluating our security measures on the school and district level. Through our Safe Schools Healthy Students grant initiative, we are implementing programs that provide training to staff in de-escalating and preventing conflicts. Through this grant, we also are working with students to help them learn how to resolve conflicts in positive ways."

WLBT News attended a Safe Schools Healthy Students workshop in November 2009, where a limited number of JPS staff members learned how to diffuse tense situations.  But such training won't work if no adult is present.

Fields is now stuck with dental bills totaling more than $1,300 from what he said was a preventable injury. "I might be up there with a picket sign," he says.

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