Coach suspended, charged with hitting student in cafeteria - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Coach suspended, charged with hitting student in cafeteria

Michael Phillips (Source: SCSO) Michael Phillips (Source: SCSO)

A high school coach faces child abuse charges for injuries a student sustained inside a Memphis school cafeteria.

According to the police report, a student said he and two other students were arguing and throwing food at a table inside the cafeteria at Booker T. Washington on Wednesday, October 27.

The student said Coach Michael Phillips then walked up to him and hit him in the back of the head. The student said the force of the hit caused his face to slam into the table and chip his tooth.

“He never deserved this, any of this,” Jennifer, the victim’s mother, said.

Jennifer’s 11-year-old son attends Booker T. Washington Middle School. Phillips is an employee of Booker T. Washington High School, which shares an address with the middle school.

Jennifer said her son is still recovering after the coach, who was working as a cafeteria monitor, attacked him.

“He came over and he slammed my child’s face into the cafeteria table, breaking his front teeth and causing him to get a fracture,” Jennifer said.

Jennifer fears for her child’s safety. She said her son, a sixth grader, was a victim.

“He was not fighting. The child across from him was throwing green beans at him,” she said.

Phillips is charged with child abuse. Meanwhile, the school has suspended him pending the investigation.

The school released the following statement on the incident:

“The safety of our students is our top priority, and we always take any report involving student safety extremely seriously. A Booker T. Washington High School student reported that he was injured in an altercation involving an employee. The employee has been arrested and suspended pending the outcome of an investigation."

“I'm just trying to get to the bottom of it. My son is afraid to go back to school,” Jennifer said.

A similar report came out of Booker T. Washington cafeteria in April 2016. However, investigators determined that report was false after they saw video of what happened.

Jennifer is concerned and wants something to be done.

“I don't think kids have to go through this when they leave their parent’s houses in the morning and go to school and get abused.”

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