DCS investigating Nashville charter school founder - WSMV Channel 4

DCS investigating Nashville charter school founder

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The leader of a Nashville charter school is facing investigation over claims he assaulted two students.

Police and the Department of Children's Services are interviewing students and teachers to find out whether Dr. Martin Kennedy went too far when it comes to discipline at Boys Preparatory Charter School.

"I do not feel this individual is stable at all to be around kids. He has no self control, by no means," said school parent Lynn Mullins.

Mullins said her seventh-grade son is scared to go back to Boys Prep after, she claims, he was assaulted by Kennedy.

"Anybody that will physically harm a child should not have any doings with any school at all," Mullins said.

Marciecilla Giddens said her son was also attacked by the same teacher.

"They need to get him off the job, because it could happen again," Giddens said.

Both mothers have filed police reports, claiming Kennedy - a teacher and the founder of the small south Nashville charter school - took discipline too far.

Mullins admits her son was being disruptive, but she said as her son followed instruction to leave class, Kennedy snapped.

"Pushed him, slammed him on a table. There was an office adjacent from the classroom, where he was then pushed into that office. His head hit the wall. He instructed someone to close the door, where he then proceeded to put my son in a headlock," Mullins said.

Giddens said her son was arguing with another student when Kennedy intervened and allegedly bodyslammed him.

Giddens and her son, Robert, claim there is a pattern of Kennedy using aggressive force to discipline students.

"Throwing them into tables and throwing them up against the wall," Robert said.

Neither police nor DCS has commented on the investigation into the parents' allegations.

Channel 4 News spoke to Kennedy Wednesday, and he said, "I ask that everyone reserve judgment until the investigation is complete."

A board member for the charter school said, "the investigation will be thorough. The school and the board will continue to cooperate in every way with all parties involved."

Also, according to that board member, Kennedy is no longer teaching in the classroom, but as founder of the school, he still has an affiliation with the school.

A meeting of the school's board is set for Friday, and the allegations are set to be addressed.

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