Mother claims CPS teacher hit boy, 9, because he was black

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A woman alleges in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday that a white Chicago Public Schools teacher hit her 9-year-old son because he is black.

Nairobi Henson claims that a teacher at Horace Mann Academy in South Chicago violated her son’s 13th and 14th Amendment rights when he struck the student in November 2014.

The suit says another teacher saw the child crying in the hallway just after the incident. When asked what was wrong, the boy said he had been hit by the defendant teacher.

When the principal questioned the accused teacher, he “arrogantly” admitted to hitting the child, who was not named in the suit for his protection, saying ‘Sue me,’” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says the teacher pleaded guilty to criminal charges. A man of the same name pleaded guilty to battery charges in Cook County in June and was sentenced to community service, but it couldn’t immediately be confirmed that it was the same case. CPS did not return a request for comment Friday night.

In addition to the civil rights violation, the six-count lawsuit includes claims excessive force, battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The child suffered from anxiety, nightmares, and depression as a result of the incident, according to the suit. Henson is asking for more than $100,000 in damages.

The suit also names CPS and the Chicago Board of Education as defendants.

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