Mom asks for apology from school after DCF report calls incident in bathroom 'misunderstanding'
6:37 PM, Jun 24, 2013
11:29 PM, Jun 24, 2013
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A family is demanding an apology from the Allamanda Elementary School assistant principal.
10-year-old Phillip Wiggins was suspended after school administrators claimed "harassment" and alleged the disabled, Albino boy took a picture of another student in a restroom while his class was on a field trip in St. Augustine. Wiggins says he didn't do it, and only dropped a disposable camera in the restroom.
A DCF report calls it all an "over reaction" and says the incident "appears to be a big misunderstanding."
According to the report, the other child in the bathroom is "very insistent that Phillip never snapped a photo of him." The investigator wrote in the report: "There is no reason not to believe these boys."
Phillip's mother, Lucy Wiggins, says she is happy the truth is finally coming out, but she's still upset and says her son was pressured to confess to something he did not do.
"I would like a written apology to me and my son for what we have been through," Wiggins said.
Wiggins, along with her attorney Dena Foman, will meet with school administrators on Tuesday.
"It makes me concerned for other children... the military-style tactics with the way they treated my son into coercing him into something he did not do," Wiggins said.
Foman says she hasn't seen many instances like this one and she questions why the child was accused in the first place.
"What was the vendetta against this child? I have no idea, but clearly there was an abuse of power here," Foman said.
Foman says a satisfactory outcome would be the boy being placed in a private school that addresses his needs and an apology from the assistant principal.
"You really need to be sure you have your facts straight. It looks like the school could have done exactly what the DCF investigator did before they called Philip in to torture him," Foman said.
The school district said Monday it cannot comment. A spokeswoman did say they followed district protocols and guidelines.
Foman says she is meeting with her client and the district on Tuesday.