Former write-in candidate for City Council Deryl von Williams brought a complaint against the school resource officer at Henderson Middle School to Monday evening’s council meeting.
According to von Williams and the student’s father, William Ormand, the incident escalated from the school resource officer’s intervention when the student refused to move to the back of the line at the school’s book fair when told to do so by a teacher. Von Williams told the council that the teacher had falsely accused the student of talking in line and that the student did not follow instructions because he had not been talking. The SRO was accused by von Williams and Ormand of pushing the student against a wall, picking him up and throwing him down, and removing him from the school without the knowledge of the school’s administrators.
Von Williams complained on behalf of the student and the student’s parents, William and Sylvia Ormand, that their 14 year old child was removed from school by the SRO and that no one knew he was missing until he called from detention in Wake County. According to von Williams, the parents of the eighth grade student were not able to locate him and the school did not know where he was.
Although it was noted that the student refused to give authorities current contact information so that his parents could be informed, von Williams explained that the student has a medical condition which causes him to remain in a silent, “catatonic” state in confrontational situations.
Von Williams told the council that the child was charged with assaulting a 300 pound police officer.
The former candidate stated that she believed that the issue was in its jurisdiction and she asked for a committee to investigate the matter. She told the assembled members that she had talked to people within the school system who are very concerned. She informed the council that juvenile intake officer Terry Satterwhite had contacted Judge Henry Banks regarding the situation.
Henderson Mayor Clem Seifert asked von Williams if she had filed a grievance. She responded that she had an appointment to speak to Police Chief Glen Allen the next day. She went on to tell the mayor and the council that the student has not been suspended from school. She also advised the council that the teacher who was involved in the incident should be reprimanded or fired.
William Ormand then told the council the story from his perspective. Ormand stated that “a week or so ago” he was waiting for his son who was “trying out for or on” the wrestling team. He testified that he waited until 7:30 or 8:00 p.m. and then had his wife get in touch with a relative who works in the school system. At 9:00 p.m., according to Ormand, he contacted Victor Fenner, the principal of Henderson Middle School. According to Ormand, Fenner did not know the student’s whereabouts. Between 9:00 and 9:30 p.m., Ormand stated, his son called from juvenile detention. At that time, the student told his father the details of the incident which had precipiated his placement in juvenile detention.
Ormand asked the council how this was able to happen.
Seifert responded by saying that he was sure that Allen would complete the investigation he normally does.
Council member Mary Emma Evans spoke to the council, saying, “I think we need to say to the school system and police department, ‘be careful’. I’m totally upset if any of this is true.”
“We’ve learned from our past mistakes,” Seifert said. “We’re not a court.”
Evans said that if any of the incident was done incorrectly that it would travel with the young man for the rest of his life.
There were no other comments from the council.