Behavioral Interventionist Allegedly Fractures Student's Skull

His supervisor was arrested, and more arrests are possible
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2020 2:30 PM CST
Behavioral Interventionist Allegedly Fractures Student's Skull
Jarvis West.   (Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office)

A behavioral interventionist supervisor at a Florida school was arrested after, police say, one of his employees' behavioral inventions ended with a 12-year-old boy's skull being fractured. The boy was "acting out" at lunch and was placed in the "Room of Opportunity" at the AMI Kids school in Pinellas Park last Tuesday, police say. Also in the room was 34-year-old Dontae Thomas; police say that the head injury occurred when Thomas tried to use the "arm-bar" maneuver to take the child down but instead ended up slamming the boy on the head. After the incident, the child started vomiting, losing consciousness, complaining that his head hurt, and asking for his mom, police say. Yet he was kept in the room for 90 minutes, then observed in a conference room for another 30 minutes before being sent home on the bus, WFLA reports.

The behavioral interventionists' supervisor, Jarvis Delon West, was "made aware of the fact that force was used against the student, that the student was in obvious medical duress," police say, yet did not inform the student's mother of what had happened when the bus arrived at the boy's house. (West rode the bus with him, which is not normal protocol, and brought along a trash can in case he needed to vomit, Tampa Bay Newspapers reports.) She thought her son was ill, but when his condition hadn't improved two days later, she took him to the hospital and he was diagnosed with fractured skull, two subdural hematomas, and a brain bleed. West was arrested and charged with failure to report child neglect and neglect of a child resulting in great bodily harm. Per Fox 13, police say there could be more arrests, but it is not yet clear whether Thomas will face charges. (More Florida stories.)

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