8 Investigates

Fourth grader allegedly assaulted by man visiting Essex Intermediate school

ESSEX COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) -- The mother of an Essex Intermediate School 4th grader claims her child was physically assaulted by another parent visiting the school. 

The student is just 10-years-old and her mother says that a man slapped her across the face in front of other students. 

The girl's mother, Erica Harvey, fought back tears as she spoke with 8News about the alleged incident. 

"It was almost like my child was tortured under your care. What were you doing?"

The day started normally for 10-year-old London Latney, but the day took a turn. Her mother details to 8News when she was told over the phone that her child was hit.

"He told me, Ms. Harvey, London was assaulted," Harvey told 8News. 

Jamere Braxton, 29, is now facing assault and battery charges after being accused of slapping London. He has already made his first court appearance and was released on a $2,500 bond.

"It felt hard like a ball came and hit me across the face, like a soccer ball, a hardball," Latney said.

Braxton followed school policy and signed in at the main lobby of the school to visit his child. He wrote "lunch" as the reason for visiting his child at the school, but did not record what time he signed in.

Braxton was escorted to his child's classroom, which was also Latney's. She says that Braxton's behavior was odd. 

Allegedly, he wanted to exchange phone numbers with Latney. 

"You asked my child to call you being a grown man, what business do you have with my child, other than being a pervert," Harvey told 8News. 

Latney said that Braxton approached her with money, wanting to arm wrestle, just before smacking her in the face. 

Latney told 8News that she was informed her substitute teacher after being slapped, but was told to go sit down. 

Afterward, Braxton allegedly pulled Latney's chair from underneath her, causing her to fall and hurt her arm. 

"Protect your children, by all means, if you have a child in Essex, don't depend on them to protect your kids," Harvey said.

The Essex County Superintendent,Scott A. Burckbuchler, shared a statement with 8News about the alleged incident:

"On Friday June 1st, there was an unfortunate incident which occurred at Essex Intermediate School involving an adult visitor and a student. The visitor, who was authorized to be in the school, allegedly struck a student during a class period. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation. We will be reviewing our policies and procedures to ensure the safety and security of all of our students. We are deeply saddened by this incident and pledge our support for the student and family in this difficult period."

8News reached out to the superintendent to see the status of Latney's substitute teacher, but have yet to receive any comment.

Braxton is banned from school grounds and has a scheduled court date on June 11. 

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