Elementary school coach accused of pushing 10-year-old with autism down at school

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Parents of an autistic child say they fought to see school surveillance video after their son said his coach attacked him at a Clayton County elementary school.

Channel 2′s Tom Jones talked to the child’s mother, Chalandria Pttman, who said she and the boy’s father fought to get criminal charges filed against the coach, Perrell Dechillo Collins, after they saw disturbing video of the incident, which happened at Brown Elementary School.

“It was just, like, how aggressive and angry he was. And I’m just like, ‘This is a child,’” Pittman said.

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Pittman said the incident happened in March and it still upsets her when she thinks about the video.

“You know, I felt like he responded to my son as if he was a grown man,” Pittman said.

Collins was arrested last week and now faces two counts of first degree child cruelty and two counts of simple battery.

The victims’ parents said Collins wouldn’t have been arrested if they hadn’t insisted on it.

“I told them, ‘We’ve got to do something like more than just him not being able to come here, because what he did is abuse,” Pittman said.

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The Pittmans said that back in March, their son came home and was somber, finally admitting that his coach had pushed him down.

Pittman approached school officials to ask about it and was told there was a video, which she then had to fight for weeks to see.

Pittman said that when the school system showed it to her, she saw Collins approach her son yelling.

“And then he grabbed my son by the back of the neck and he pushed him up against the wall,” she said.

She said the video showed Collins start to walk away, but the attack continued.

“And he took his hand and he pushed him down to the ground,” she said.

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Jones wanted to hear the coach’s side of this story, so he went to his home and rang his video doorbell. No one came to the door or answered via the doorbell.

The Pittmans’ attorney is concerned there’s a culture of not reporting these types of incidents in the district.

“Because another teacher was present in the room who never reported this incident,” attorney Marsha Mignott said. According to Pittman and her husband, another instructor at the school is in the video watching the attack.

Charceades Pittman, the boy’s father, doesn’t want this swept under the rug.

“(The instructor) should be held accountable for this situation,” Charceades Pittman said.

Jones reached out to the Clayton County School System to get its version of what happened. The district sent a statement that says it took immediate action and began a thorough investigation that resulted in an arrest and a referral to the Professional Standards Commission. It says it also resulted in a separation of employment of all involved individuals.

The child’s parents say he wasn’t physically injured, but say this has scarred him and punctured their faith in the school system to keep children safe.

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