A 7-year-old Special Needs Child was Assaulted by a Montgomery ISD Special Education Counselor

Jenifer Knighton

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Advocate and ParentJenifer Knighton

Christa Tatem, A Montgomery Independent School District Special Education Counselor was recommended for termination after an October 2021 classroom surveillance video from Madeley Ranch Elementary School surfaced showing the attack of a 7-year old African American disabled child.

Montgomery County, TX- Community Activists Jenifer Knighton and Sam Smith joined the family of 7-year-old Kendrick Davis on March 21, 2022, at the Montgomery Independent School District building to watch the videos of what appears to be an innocent and helpless child screaming for mercy while being attacked by Montgomery ISD Special Education Counselor Christa Tatem.

During the March meeting, Kendrick's family was informed that despite having strong evidence against Tatem, she filed an appeal to continue her employment contract with Montgomery ISD, and according to the district's attorney, a hearing was held on Friday, March 25, 2022. If for some reason Tatem wins the appeal, it could mean that she'll have an opportunity to work with other children in the future, putting those children at risk to endure the same traumatic experiences as 7-year-old Kendrick Davis.

My skin cringed while watching the gruesome video. As an MISD employee and "counselor" in a position working with children that have documented disabilities, you have an obligation to de-escalate a crisis, not provoke it. Tatem spent over ten minutes attacking the child. Kendrick's family put their trust in Montgomery County Schools to help their son succeed but this attack can leave them family traumatized for life.

In the videos that MISD has not released to the family, Tatem can be seen assaulting the boy, putting her knees on his back, and holding him down. While there is no sound on the video, it appears that the child is pleading for his life, and although at one point he appears to be lifeless, Tatem continues to hold him down. She then gets up, removes her earrings, and attacks him again.

More than twenty minutes later one of the boy's teachers can be seen entering the room and the child tries to fight against Tatem, but things only get worse for him. Tatem strikes the child again and this time she pins him up against the wall and forces her elbow into his ribcage while she and the special education teacher "restrain" the 48lb child.

According to the parents, they have made several attempts since October to get the full truth about what happened to their child. They believe that they have received nothing more than lies, excuses, and cover-ups from Madeley Ranch Elementary School administration, Montgomery ISD, Grimes County District Attorney Andria Bender who declined charges against Christa Tatem, and CPS Investigator Barry Gresham who reported no findings of abuse or neglect by Tatem.

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Jenifer Knighton is a Community Activist, Journalist, Counselor, and DWI-Education and Intervention Instructor focused on social justice and change. Her mission is to build stronger communities through Hope, Empowerment, Advocacy and Outreach, Resources, and Support.

Houston, TX
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