Attorneys: GA student with amputated leg not emotionally OK, but - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Attorneys: GA student with amputated leg not emotionally OK, but improving

Montravious Thomas following is surgery in mid-October. (Source: Lawanda Thomas) Montravious Thomas following is surgery in mid-October. (Source: Lawanda Thomas)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Attorneys for the Muscogee County student whose leg was amputated following an incident at school said his condition is improving following surgery, but he is not physically or emotionally OK. 

Forrest B. Johnson and Renee Tucker, who represent Montravious Thomas, 13, said he remains hospitalized at Children's Hospital of Atlanta at Egleston following the amputation of his right leg.  

Thomas was injured on Sept. 12 at the AIM/Edgewood Student Services Center. His leg had to be amputated on Oct. 19.

After watching a video that captured the incident, Thomas’ attorneys say Bryant Mosely, who was contracted by Muscogee County School District through his employer, Behavioral and Mentoring Services, is responsible for the 13-year-old’s injuries. They said the video shows Mosely slamming Thomas into the floor five times, not three as previously believed.

Thomas’ mother, Lawanda, was not there to see the video; she remains in Atlanta with her son. His attorneys said it was graphic and hard for them to watch.

Aside from Monday's meeting with their counsel, Johnson and Tucker said they have had no previous outside communications with the school district.

School officials said Mosely acted as a part of the MindSet curriculum, which advises using physical restraint if necessary. 

In a Sept. 12 incident report filed by Columbus Police Department, Lt. Consuelo Askew said she responded to the incident while assigned as the school's resource officer. She was not on duty at the time. 

The narrative says: 

On September 12, 2016, at around 1350 hours I, Lieutenant Consuelo Askew was working a part time job at the AIM program located at 3538 Forrest Road, when I was called to room 109. Upon arrival at room 109, Mr. Bryant Mosley (behavioral specialist) advised me that he had to physically restrain a student, Montravious Thomas due to behavioral issues.

Due to his injuries, Montravious' right leg amputated below the knee on Oct. 19.

Valerie Fuller, the MCSD Director of Communications, said in her last emailed statement on Oct. 28 that the school district would not comment further the ongoing investigation. 

The statement also says that Montravious was "up and walking and not in distress" following what the school district is calling "administered restraint." 

Robert Poydasheff, the attorney representing Mentoring and Behavioral Services, said in an email that he will not comment on Bryant's current employment status. 

On Oct. 23, the website AllOnGeorgia - Muscogee County published a video that allegedly shows Mosely carrying Thomas following the incident. 

The statement, in full from MCSD, says: 

We extend our thoughts and prayers to our student who is undergoing medical treatment and to his family. We are committed to conducting a thorough review of the alleged incident at the AIM/Edgewood Student Services Center to determine all of the facts.  The person involved in the alleged incident at  AIM/Edgewood Student Services Center is not an employee of the Muscogee County School District.  

Bryant Mosley was provided by Mentoring and Behavioral Services, a contract service provider, to the Muscogee County School District. Mr. Mosley is not presently  providing services to the Muscogee County School District.  Mr. Mosley is specifically trained in MindSet curriculum, a system of preventing and managing aggressive behavior, and Georgia restraint requirements.  He holds a B.A. in Psychology and a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.  

It is our understanding that there were issues concerning the safety of the child and others in the room, which called for the use of restraint per state guidance. Physical restraint is allowed in Georgia public schools and educational programs in those situations in which the student is an immediate danger to himself or others and the student is not responsive to less intensive behavioral interventions including verbal directives or other de-escalation techniques.

Witnesses indicate that the child was up and walking and not in distress following the administered restraint.  In addition, multiple attempts to contact the parent at the phone number(s) provided to the school were unsuccessful on September 12, 2016, the date of the incident.
 
The video posted by “allongeorgia”  reports showing a brief segment in time at the front of the school.  The video is obviously an incomplete picture of the events of the afternoon and is not inconsistent with the information previously released by District that the student was walking after the administration of the restraint.  

The video posted by “allongeorgia” was not released by the District.   The video of the student at the school is an educational record the District cannot release to the public pursuant to federal law.
 
MCSD was put on notice within days of the events at AIM/Edgewood on Sept. 12, that Montravious Thomas and his family intend to file suit against the District.  It has been on the advice of legal counsel that MCSD has refrained from commenting on threatened litigation beyond the information provided by MCSD’s Communications office.  

The bulk of the relevant facts involving Montravious and his history in the District are educational records that MCSD cannot publicly discuss or release pursuant to federal law.  This incident at AIM/Edgewood did not occur in a vacuum.  

It is our understanding that there were issues concerning the safety of the child and others in the room, which called for the use of restraint per state guidance. It is not appropriate for the District to publicly release information that is derived from the child’s educational records, which might provide further context.    
 
The District’s investigation into this matter remains ongoing. 

Johnson and associates say they have not filed suit yet against the school district or Mosely and his employer. 

The legal team says their next step is to have Montravious discharged from the hospital and continue to gather information on the incident from the school district. 

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