Four-Year-Old Confined To Trash-Strewn P.S. 198 Hallway Seeks Justice In Court

Treated by his pre-K teachers "like an animal," boy will through just-filed federal lawsuit obtain compensation for weeks of daily detention that violated civil rights, attorney Abe George reports

Confined alone every day for weeks in a school stairwell full of trash, Fatima Scipio's son was scared, as any four-year-old would be. Now the family is seeking justice with the help of the Law Offices of Abe George.

"No child should ever be left behind and certainly no child should ever be punished by being placed in solitary confinement in a hallway full of garbage," said Scipio's lawyer, Abe George. Fatima Scipio has since removed her son, now five years old, from P.S. 198 and placed him in another school. With over ten years of experience as an attorney, Abe George Civil Rights Lawyer has successfully argued for compensation in cases involving matters as serious as wrongful death. With a federal civil rights lawsuit now filed against the City of New York and the New York City Department of Education, attorney Abe George will fight to make sure that this kind of mistreatment will never happen to another child.

"Most teachers are hard-working professionals who want only the best for the students with whom they are entrusted," Abe George Lawyer said, "Unfortunately, there are some working even today in our city's schools who do not belong in this position of responsibility. Fatima Scipio's then-four-year-old son should never have been left alone every day for weeks in a trash-filled stairwell. Through our ongoing civil rights lawsuit, we're going to make sure that no other child in New York City ever has to endure the same kind of mistreatment."

Dealing in a professional, effective manner with disruptive behavior is something with which every teacher will be tasked from time to time. This is typically even more the case among those who educate younger students, as habits regarding obedience and school-day discipline are often not yet firmly established.

While it can be challenging for teachers to ensure that disruptive students do not interfere with the education of peers, they must always take care that any means they use to address such behaviors respect the rights of those deemed problematic. The pre-K teachers of Fatima Scipio's son stepped clearly over this line when they confined the four-year-old to a garbage-strewn stairwell every school day for three weeks, treating him, in his mother's words, "like an animal."

Another P.S. 198 employee understood this and recorded video evidence of the mistreatment. After that person contacted a local activist, the matter was brought to the attention of Abe George. With ten years of combined Abe George DA experience and work in private practice, the attorney recognized right away that an innocent child's civil rights had been violated in a serious, unforgivable way.

The success of the federal civil rights lawsuit recently filed against the City of New York will compensate the Scipio family for the mistreatment their son suffered. It will also provide a concrete incentive for the City of New York to make sure that this type of abuse never happens again.

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Release ID: 150992