DC student: Teacher choked, slammed me against wall at school

A D.C. student and his mother are speaking out to FOX 5 after police say a teacher assaulted the 11-year-old boy at his school.

The alleged attack happened at Democracy Prep Congress Heights Public Charter School in Southeast D.C.

Renee Allen was furious when she heard the teacher grabbed her son by the throat and slammed him up against a wall at school.

D.C. police arrested 30-year-old Jason Underwood for simple assault. He was fired immediately by the school.

Willie Allen said his neck and throat still hurt from the incident that occurred Monday morning, and the 11-year-old went to the emergency room Tuesday afternoon.

"No child should have to endure that," said Willie's mother.

Surveillance footage at the school shows Willie standing in the hallway when Underwood appears to grab the student.

"That's when Mr. Underwood got mad," Willie said. "Then he came up to me, he pushed my head against the wall about three times and then that's when he choked me."

The fifth grader said it was about a conversation earlier in the week. According to the police report, Underwood accuses Willie of lying and yells several curse words at him.

"I don't care what my son did," said Renee. "It does not justify a grown man almost seven feet tall choking my son.

"We already have drive-by shootings, school shootings. Now you have teachers hitting children and choking children. What's next?"

Democracy Prep said the teacher's behavior was unacceptable and it is cooperating with police in the investigation.

Democracy Prep took over the school last summer after the former school, Imagine Southeast Public Charter School, lost its charter.

The Allen family and others who reached out to FOX 5 said they are unhappy with how the school is run.

Democracy Prep Congress Heights released a statement on Tuesday and it reads in part: "One of the many challenges of charter school turnaround is building trust with students and parents, so they are prepared for a very different educational model, one that is more disciplined, more rigorous and ultimately more successful."

Parents do have the option to enroll their students at a different school. Renee Allen said her son will change schools next year.

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