Student Left Unconscious as Teacher Demonstrates Chokehold; Lawsuit Against South Carolina School District

Lexington & Richland County School District Five has been served a lawsuit as a parent claims her child passed out due to strangulation by a teacher. The suit filed in Lexington County accuses the teacher of ignoring the child's pleas of distress and suffocating him in the middle of a training session, rendering him unconscious.

According to the suit filed by the child's mother, the incident occurred in January at the Center for Advanced Technical Studies in Chapin, during a law enforcement class. The teacher was demonstrating holds on a dummy when he changed his mind and called upon a student to assist him.

The State reports that the student qualified as a disabled under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and so he was incapable of giving consent to be placed in a chokehold. He has been acknowledged as a "law-abiding citizen" by the lawsuit, at the time the incident occurred and hence no use of force against him can be legally justified. The State is an American daily published in South Carolina.

Lexington County Courthouse
Lexington County Court House Wikimedia Commons

The suit was filed on 7th April, charges the district of "intentionally or recklessly inflicting severe emotional distress on the Plaintiffs... (and) committing conduct so extreme and outrageous as to exceed all possible boundaries of decency."

The lawsuit further described the chokehold, "as a choke or stranglehold is a maneuver which restricts the airway and blood flow to the brain by applying pressure to the trachea and the carotid arteries, thereby allowing officers to quickly subdue criminal suspects."

The legal document highlights the 2020 nationwide protests against police brutality and their outcomes which led to several law enforcement organizations banning chokeholds. The suit elaborates the entire incident with the teacher using the hold "with so much strength that the minor Plaintiff lost consciousness." It added later that before passing out the student motioned many times for the teacher to stop, but unfortunately "these signals and warnings were disregarded."

Demonstration of a chokehold Wikimedia Commons

The suit also revealed the failure of the school district to inform the child's mother of the incident until after it occurred and highlighted the "grossly negligent, willful, reckless and wanton manner in which the school authorities acted that not only resulted in medical injuries but also mental distress and suffering, the care of which will require "large sums of money," the State wrote.

While the lawsuit requests the court to award financial compensation to the child and his legal guardian, due to legal proceedings, Lexington Richland 5 has refused to release any official statement.