POMPANO BEACH – A father frustrated by what he says was the failure of the Broward County School District to investigate his daughter’s alleged beating by a school security guard has hired an attorney to pursue the incident.
Robert Donald, who also works for the school district at a different location, said his daughter Raenesha Donald, 12, was slammed into a garbage can and a fence and then to the ground.
“He beat up my daughter for no reason and no one will do anything about it,” said Robert Donald.
The incident took place on March 28 at Crystal Lake Middle School in Pompano Beach and involved Raenesha and security specialist Trevor C. Allen.
Raenesha was left “beaten and bloodied” and her blouse was ripped open during the fight, according to official documents.
Nadine Drew, a spokeswoman for the school district has not responded to questions. School Superintendent Robert Runcie did not return calls seeking comment.
The incident was captured on surveillance video and, according to internal documents obtained by the South Florida Times, school officials were aware of the altercation and instructed staff who witnessed it to write statements about what took place.
One email from school principal Sabine B. Phillips asked social studies teacher Sheila Smart, history teacher Ramona Graham and Allen to provide statements detailing what happened.
According to those statements, Raenesha was accused of walking out of her social studies class after her teacher, Sheila Smart, began to counsel her about her attitude. Allen went after her and asked her to stop but she walked away and tried to enter an office to see an assistant principal.
“When I went to redirect her by placing my hand on her shoulder and asking her to follow me once again, instead, she swung at me with a closed fist striking me in my shoulder and the side of my head. At this point I had to restrain her for the safety of myself, herself, and others,” Allen wrote in his statement.
Allen could not be reached and he did not respond to emails from the South Florida Times seeking comment. However, two surveillance cameras mounted at the school captured different angles of the incident.
Allen is seen reaching for Raenesha’s arm twice and her pulling away. Then he rushed her and drove her into a garbage can and then slammed her into a fence and then onto the ground.
Robert Donald said he met with officials at the school who, he said, assured him the incident was being investigated. After not hearing from them since, he retained an attorney, he said. “If my child was wrong, then she should be punished but for this grown man to beat her up like that is unacceptable,” Donald said.
The family’s attorney Peter Hanna, of Fort Lauderdale, described it as a “sensitive issue he did not want to see played out in the press.”
However, in a letter dated Aug. 30 which he sent to the Florida Department of Financial Services putting them on notice of possible legal action, and to the Broward County School District, Hanna disputes Allen’s version of what happened.
“We have a copy of the video in our possession and it is very disturbing in that it shows a grown man beating, shoving and throwing a defenseless 12-year-old girl to the ground,” Hanna wrote in his letter. “The video shows the grown man on top of the 12-year-old victim as she lay beaten and bloodied on the ground. He was on top of her until another person told him to get off her.”
*Pictured above is Crystal Lake Middle School Principal Sabine Phillips.