Video shows Detroit Lakes teacher using force on student

Published: Oct. 14, 2019 at 6:50 PM CDT
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Sara Pederson’s son Nicademus started at Detroit Lakes High School less than two months ago, and already his freshman year is off to a rocky start.

“Furious to be honest,” Pederson said on Monday. “I was furious that a teacher could bring it to that extent and treat my son that way.”

Pederson is upset and considering legal action concerning an incident that was captured on cell phone video showing her 14-year-old son being shoved by a teacher on school grounds last Thursday.

“I told him not to grab me like that and I told him to like stop touching me like that, throwing me and stuff into the doors,” Nicademus said.

The video doesn't show what transpired before the high school freshman was forced into the school by the teacher.

According to Detroit Lakes Public Schools, the teacher was attempting to break up a fight, which Nicademus says he was not a part of.

Pederson said she knows her son isn't a saint but the teacher crossed a line by grabbing her son forcibly.

“You're not allowed as a parent to put your hands on a child like that and a school shouldn't be allowed to do that,” Pederson said.

Pederson’s biggest issue with the school district is that they should've de-escalated the situation as opposed to grabbing her son forcibly.

“Find out the information before they take action, and they should not be allowed to take action that way,” Pederson said.

DL superintendent Doug Froke wasn’t available for an on-camera interview, yet in a phone call he said the incident is under investigation.

The school district’s policy on discipline states a teacher should use things like positive reinforcement or assigning detention to remove a student from a classroom. This incident happened outside the high school after classes were done for the day.

Froke said teachers are taught to use intervention methods, however, at this point he's not casting blame until the school understands what happened.

Froke also said he hasn’t seen the video or followed up with Sara Pederson since that incident.