New Jersey teacher’s aide accused of yanking out a braid from student’s head; police investigating

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. — A mother is sharing her story after she says a teacher’s aide at a public school in New Jersey pulled her daughter’s hair out.

Aaquilah Perez is speaking out because she says she doesn’t want what happened to her child to happen to anyone else.

According to official documents, Perez’s daughter returned home from her school with a bald spot after a teacher’s aide allegedly yanked a braid out.

Perez took a photo of her 5-year-old daughter Zuwena as soon as she got home from P.S. 26 in Jersey City on March 15.

Perez says she cornrowed her daughter’s hair all the way to the nape of her neck, but when she returned home from school, the braid had been ripped out, leaving behind a bald spot.

Zuwena is a Pre-K student with special needs and has ADHD.

Perez told police the incident happened after Zuwena refused to go in time out.

She hasn’t sent Zuwena back to school since the incident happened and has quit her job to take care of her.

Perez says she’s outraged with the lack of urgency and care she says the school has taken with the alleged assault.

“I think they really have to take this matter seriously because I don’t want anybody else’s kids to get hurt or I don’t want any other parents have to experience what I just experienced like three weeks ago, because it’s a terrible feeling to send your child to a place where they’re supposed to be safe and for them to come home with their hair pulled down and sad seeing that their teacher hurt them, it’s really heartbreaking,” Perez said.

Police are continuing to investigate. Eyewitness News in New York reached out to the school for comment but have not heard back.

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