PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — A supervisor at AMIkids, a school for troubled youth, is facing charges in a child abuse case that occurred on campus.

  • AMIkids supervisor charged in child abuse case
  • Jarivs West, 28, failed to report child neglect
  • Student was slammed onto head after "acting out"
  • Student suffered skull fracture, brain bleed
  • More arrests expected, officials say

According to the Pinellas Park Police Department, a 12-year-old boy suffered a skull fracture during an altercation with a behavioral interventionist (BI) on February 11. 

The altercation occurred after the student was said to have been "acting out" during lunch.  The BI took the student to the "Room of Opportunity" where police say he used an "arm bar" to take the student down.  The 100-pound student ended up being slammed on his head by the employee who is 5'8 and weighs 300 pounds, according to the arrest report. 

Following the incident the boy started to vomit and is believed to have lost consciousness several times. 

"The force that was used to control this child was excessive and rose to the level of aggravated child abuse," said police Capt. Adam Geissenberger. "Here we have a 300-pound man with a 12-year old child that weighs 100 pounds. That has to be taken into consideration anytime you're going to put hands on somebody."

For 90 minutes, the student was left unchecked while still being supervised.  Another BI came to take the boy to a conference where he was under observation from various staff for another 30 minutes.  He was then brought onto the school bus where a BI accompanied him home, brining alone a trash can in case he vomited again.  Officials noted in the release that it is note common for a BI to ride home with the students.

The student was dropped off directly at home after the bus stopped at another student's house to get water for the victim.  According to officials, the BI released the student without making contact with the victim's mother. 

After the symptoms resided for two days, the boy's mother, unaware of what occurred at the school, took him to the hospital thinking he had the flu. 

Staff at All Children's Hospital determine that the boy had a fractured skull, two subdural hematomas, and a brain bleed.

Pinellas Park detectives arrested Jarvis Delon West, 28, on February 17 for failure to report child neglect and neglect of a child resutling in great bodily harm.  Officials said West, who has been with the school since 2018, was arrested due to the fact that he was the supervisor of the day and was aware of the force used against the student that resulted in his injuries, and failing to provide medical attention or report the abuse. 

"Mr. West would not have been charged in this case had he provided aid to this child and called the abuse hotline," Geissenberger said.

Two other people were suspended without pay by AMIkids. 

Here is a statement from the school on the incident: 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the young man and his family during his time of recovery. When we were notified by the authorities as to the extent of this incident, we took immediate disciplinary action. AMIkids Pinellas does not tolerate any behaviors that could cause harm to our students, as our top priority is the safety of our kids, our team and this community. In addition to fully cooperating with the authorities, we are also conducting an internal investigation of this matter."

Officials say the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.