WINDSOR, Bertie County - A mother in Windsor says her 9-year-old son was manhandled, slapped and threatened with having his neck broken by a charter school transportation employee.
Erica Farmer says the incident occurred May 12 outside the grounds of the Heritage Collegiate Leadership Academy in Windsor where her son had been asked to get off the bus by a substitute bus driver. The employee in question, Levi Bazemore, then allegedly hauled Farmer's son back on to the bus, slapped him and when her son said he would tell his parents what had happened, threatened to break his neck.
The school's principal, Kashi Hall, denies the incident occurred this way and says appropriate force was used in dealing with an non-compliant child.
"He was having a difficult time restraining him and he believes that (was) the only thing that could have been perceived as a slap but he does not recall any activity with the child's face," Hall said.
She tells NewsChannel 12 she is surprised the incident has gone this far, but said she is ready to go to court to clear their name.
Bazemore has an assault conviction from an unrelated incident in 2013 from 2015 that was reduced to a suspended sentence and probation according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety website. Hall says the case was "dismissed."
Farmer says a police report has been filed with the Windsor Police, who could not be reached to comment on the case. Farmer did provide a copy of the police report to NewsChannel 12. She also said she filed a complaint against the school with the state charter schools oversight board in Raleigh and removed her son from the Heritage Collegiate Leadership Academy following the incident.
"I don't care about getting any money," Farmer said about her reasons for pursuing charges against the school and Bazemore. "He hit my child and he shouldn't be allowed to do that."