Madison, WI — Rob Mueller-Owens, a positive behavior support coach at a middle school in Wisconsin who was also the acting principal, allegedly attacked and pulled out several braids from an 11-year old African American student after a classroom dispute.The girl’s mother, Mikiea Price, said her daughter called her on February 13 to tell her about the incident. The girl reportedly told her she and her classmate sprayed perfume on themselves in the bathroom before returning to class. The smell apparently activated their teacher’s allergies so she asked who sprayed perfume but no one admitted.
The teacher then asked Mueller-Owens to come in to handle the situation. When the girl eventually admitted she sprayed perfume, she was asked to leave the classroom.
However, as she was walking out of the classroom, Mueller-Owens allegedly began pushing her out, causing her to hit a row of lockers. He also stayed on top of her for about 15 seconds after losing his balance.
The incident was caught on a surveillance video described by Price as a “very disturbing sight to see.” But the video won’t be publicly released until an investigation is completed.
Price added that her daughter has been traumatized and afraid to return to school since the incident.
“Just the whole experience is just traumatic and devastating and just confusing,” Price told the WISC-TV. “I’m just disgusted at this whole incident. You know, I send my kid to school to learn, and that’s a place where mothers send their kids to be comfortable in. I just feel violated in so many ways that this even happened to her.”
Though Price didn’t know exactly how her daughter’s braids were pulled out, she said she was holding three braids and there were bald spots in her scalp when she picked her up at school.
Price said she is planning to take legal actions and sue the Madison Metropolitan School District. She said the school failed to inform her about the incident and also didn’t call any doctor or nurse to examine her daughter.
Meanwhile, the school district said in a written statement that they “take any situation of this nature very seriously.”
Moreover, Mueller-Owens, who once paid a visit to the White House in 2015 for his work with restorative justice, has been placed on leave and banned to return to Whitehorse Middle School, where Price’s daughter goes to school, pending the result of the investigation.