• Teacher faces battery charge after yanking student's hair, police say

    By: Tom Jones, WSBTV.com

    Updated:

    HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - A Georgia middle school teacher is facing a battery charge after police said she yanked an eighth-grade student's hair after she asked to use the bathroom. 

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    The incident occurred at Henry County Middle School in January and was caught on camera.

    Sequoia McMillian, 14, said teacher Tracy Parham yanked her by the hair and pulled her out of class and into a hallway. 

    Sequoia said she had asked Parham if she could use the bathroom for a minor emergency, and Parham had told her "no." She got permission from another teacher, and when she came back to her science class, she felt the tug on her hair. 

    Sequoia told Jones that at first, she thought it was another student, but then the tugging got more extreme. 

    "I just felt somebody pull me from behind," Sequoia said. "My neck snapped all the way back. Like, my head goes back and I'm trying to keep my balance."

    School video recorded what happened. A school resource officer who saw the video filed a battery charge against Parham. A judge who looked at the video found probable cause and issued an arrest warrant for her. 

    Sequoia's mother, Latrice McMillian, said she saw the video and could not believe the teacher put her hands on her daughter. 

    "You can just see a hand come up and grab her from behind by her braids," McMillian said. "Why should she be grabbing and jerking and grabbing kids?" 

    McMillian said the video also shows other students trying to pry Parham's hands off of Sequoia. 

    The school acknowledged what happened and sent a recording to parents informing them that Parham was supposed to turn herself in to police Friday.

    In court, Parham said the whole thing was an accident, McMillian said. 

    But Sequoia told Jones that Parham has done similar things to other students in the past, they had been afraid to report them.

    "How do you accidentally grab somebody's hair and start pulling them from behind?" McMillian said. 

    Sequoia said that now, Parham will have to face the consequences. 

    "I felt like that wasn't right," Sequoia said. 

    McMillian took Seqouia out of the school because administrators put her daughter in the library to keep her away from Parham -- and let the teacher stay in the classroom. 

    McMillian said that isolated Sequoia and made her feel like she had done something wrong. 

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