LAKEVIEW — The student allegedly slapped by a magnet school teacher is transferring out of the school after weeks of feeling bullied and intimidated by teachers and administrators, his mother said.
Linda Reyes enrolled her 9-year-old son, Julius Rosero, at a neighborhood school Monday.
"I feel good that we did this," Reyes said. "It was too much emotional distress on him, on us."
She said the school had taken excessive disciplinary action against him even before reports that Chicago Public Schools officials were investigating claims that Mandarin language teacher Miaomiao Chen slapped her son in the face.
The investigation of Chen, who still works at the school, is ongoing, a CPS spokesman said. The family still wants to see Chen disciplined for the incident.
"This is my child, and something needs to be done," she said.
Even before the incident, her son wasn't given school work to do while on out-of-school suspensions, as required, and was isolated in the school's main office when he returned, Reyes claimed.
According to the CPS student code of conduct, the principal must make sure students on out-of-school suspensions obtain the necessary schoolwork. When students return, they must be given the opportunity to make up tests or special projects.
"During the isolation, it got worse," she said. "He's getting aggravated."
CPS would not comment on Julius' discipline citing confidentiality rules.
Reyes admits her son is "not innocent."
Emails sent to Reyes and husband Patrick Rosero from Principal Vernita Vallez and other school workers note incidents, including many after he was allegedly struck by the teacher, of Julius running around the school, not listening to teachers and hitting and kicking other students.
Julius' therapist also said in a note that the boy had acted positively at the start of a behavior modification skills group, but more recently he'd been disruptive and struggled to follow rules. The therapist noted the boy has a "dislike for being isolated from his peers."
Reyes said any aggressive behavior by her son has not taken place outside of the school.
Julius' report cards show his grades have gone down since the start of the year. His first term he got A's and B's, with some C's toward the end. But by the second grading period of this semester, the grades started leaning toward C's, D's and F's.
Reyes said she didn't want to take Julius out of Inter-American. She had volunteered for three years at the school when her two other children attended and graduated from there.
She believes the school failed her son.
"He’s ready for a new start," Reyes said. "Nobody constantly picking on him or watching him. Eyes aren’t going to be on him anymore."