Broward County Public Schools' employee hurt girl, mother says

Video shows struggle between student, assistant principal


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Broward County Public Schools officials are investigating after a student in Fort Lauderdale was hurt when she got into a struggle with an assistant principal.

A witnessed recorded the incident using a mobile phone.

The student's mother, Latashia Whitfield, identified the employee as Charles J. Zimmerman, the school's eighth-grade assistant principal. 

She said the dispute started because her daughter, Toccara "Cara" Denmark, was late to class.

"My daughter has bruises ... I am sick to my stomach how a grown man would attack my child just because she was late to class," the mother wrote on Facebook. "This man shouldn't be around [anyone's] child."

Whitfield also wrote the school's principal, Felice Winston-Davis, who promised an investigation. The video shows Zimmerman standing over Toccara's desk.

As Toccara was talking, Zimmerman moved to grab her.

Toccara said, "Don't touch me!" The 13-year-old girl fell down with her desk, so he got the desk out of the way, and lifted her from the ground.

Toccara ended up on top of a desk and then on the ground again. The video also shows other students' reactions. A student shouted: "She didn't touch you!"

A request for comment from Broward County Public Schools was not immediately returned.

William Dandy Middle School in the 2400 block of Northwest 26 Street in Fort Lauderdale is a magnet school with a pre-medical program for students who are interested in medicine, dentistry, veterinary science and nursing.