Ohio school security guard fired for using excessive force against kindergarten student

An Ohio elementary school security guard was fired Monday after officials said he used excessive force against a kindergarten student.

The Canton City School Board voted to fire Shawn T. Poole, 45, a school resource assistant for the district since 2017, for malfeasance of duty, The Canton Repository reported. Poole's termination is retroactive to Feb. 4; he had been suspended since Jan. 22, the newspaper reported.

According to Poole’s termination letter, Canton City School District business manager Tad Ellsworth said district officials determined Poole used excessive force against the 6-year-old on Jan. 21 when he tried to stop the child from running out of the cafeteria at McGregor Elementary School.

Statements submitted by six school employees said the girl had lost recess privileges and did not want to stay inside, the Repository reported. When the child tried to run, Poole grabbed her with his hands on both sides of her arms and lifted her off the ground, the statements said.

The child's parents later took the girl to an area hospital after she vomited on the way home and complained of stomach pains, WJW reported.

"Her arms were red. She had bruising on her arms and her abdomen was sore," Keshia Wilkins, the child's mother, told WJW. "He grabbed her like a sack of potatoes."

According to the termination letter, Poole “admitted picking up and carrying the student,” which was not consistent with proper training and procedures “for dealing with a disruptive or defiant student.”

“All but one of the witnesses contend you were yelling at the student, and three of the witnesses contend you used excessive force in your handling of the student,” the termination letter read.

Poole could not be reached for comment, the Repository reported.

Wilkins and her husband said they wanted charges filed against Poole, WJW reported.

“I feel charges need to be pressed,” Quan Wilkins told the television station. “This is my daughter; at the end of the day, who is going to speak for her?"

Canton police are investigating, according to WJW.

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