Mom claims substitute teacher grabbed 8-year-old son by the throat

Contrease Tate. (Photo via Fox13Memphis.com)

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Contrease Tate. (Photo via Fox13Memphis.com)

The assault happened Monday at Evans Elementary School in east Memphis, Tennessee.

WHBQ spoke with the mother and child. Tyler Tate said he was grabbed by the throat.

He said the substitute teacher called him to her desk and asked him what the N-word stood for. He said he replied, "Gangsta," and that's when he said the attack began.

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It's the timidness of a child offset by the anger of a mother. "I feel bad because they're telling us that it's a safe zone and that they're going to keep him safe, and nothing should happen," said Contrease Tate, Tyler’s mother.

Mrs. Tate took photos after taking her child to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. He had scrapes on his neck and arms and was having trouble breathing after being grabbed by the neck, she said.

"She punched Tyler. That's what Tyler tell me. She punched him in the chest, ran his head into the wall, tripped him in the hallway," said Mrs. Tate.

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Shelby County Schools said via email:

"These are very serious claims, and school staff immediately notified the proper authorities for further investigation. This substitute will not be eligible to work in a school until the investigation is completed."

Mrs. Tate said she was never notified and only found out after school. At first, she said the principal blamed her son.

"They told me he was suspended for 45 days and that he couldn't come to school, but when I told her that we were going to Le Bonheur, she said he could come to school and that he's not suspended for 45 days," Mrs. Tate said.

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WHBQ's cameras were there as Mrs. Tate received withdrawal papers from the school. She said her son will eventually heal from the physical scars. It's the mental ones that will take a little longer.

Memphis police and the Department of Children Services are investigating.

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