Nov. 14, Jordan (8yo) was on the playground after school hours at Spanish Lake Primary, along with his 4-year-old sister, J'Niaha, while they waited for Alana to bring them home for the day. An incident broke out between Jordan and another elementary-aged boy - a teacher's child - when the other child is said to have begun throwing mulch at Jordan. Jordan asked the child to stop to no avail. At that point, the other child's 13-year-old brother approached Jordan and pushed him to the ground.
Jordan walked away from the incident, but returned upon noticing mulch was now being thrown at his sister, J'Niaha, by the younger child under the command of the 13-year-old. A fight broke out between Jordan and the younger child when the 13-year-old again approached Jordan. At this time, a previously un-involved fourth grade student entered the incident saying to Jordan: 'You need to go back to the cotton farm.'
"My son, who understands the connotation of that statement because we've had those conversations before, was appalled, so he said 'that's racist.' The child responded 'why do you think it's so racist? You do need to go back to the cotton farm.' So at that point my son began to try to defend himself because the 13-year-old was pushing him down and calling him a baby." Jordan was pushed down numerous times and body-slammed atleast twice.
It is then that Jordan sustained the injuries - a fractured right humerus and what would later be diagnosed as post-concussion syndrome.
A fifth grade student, who is said to have witnessed the entire account, walked Jordan to the classroom where Jackson was, and informed her of the events. There were no adult witnesses to the event, however surveillance footage is available and is being used by the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office for their investigation.
This isn't Jordan's first time being assaulted at the school, and in fact, it is the third incident he has had in a year's time. He was profanely spoken to by a janitor last school year and was physically assaulted in October. Upset by the amount of altercations Jordan has experienced, Alana took face to Facebook express her pain and frustration.
"Today my 8 year old son had to physically defend himself and his sister on the playground after a 13 year old boy slammed him to the ground breaking his arm & giving him a concussion, a 6 year old threw mulch at them, and a 9 year old told him to "Go back to the cotton farm!" Now you tell me...as a parent, how do I not feel hurt? As an African American, how do I not take offense? As a Christian, how do I not seek love? I am disappointed that our culture has exhibited the behavior that makes our children believe that this type of behavior is acceptable. I am saddened that we have come so far yet are still so far away. I am discouraged that many have given up even though we are so far from finished. Yet I am hopeful that God is still in control. #TakeHeed #LearningOpportunityForEveryone #FromTheMouthOfBabes #WhatAreYourBabiesSpeaking,"
The next day, Tuesday, Nov. 15, Alana received a call from the school and obliged a conference request. She said the principal was very apologetic, but released the school from liability as the incident took place outside of school hours and involved a non-student. Dismayed by the response of the school, Alana then contacted the Sheriff's Office. The responding officer advised her that the school would be responsible and that she should present medical expenses to the school. However when she returned with her bills, the school refuted responsibility. Later that evening, Alana and husband were made aware of Jordan's injuries, both physical and emotional.
Being a parish(county) employee herself, Alana has spoken to other school officials, including the superintendent, who she said were all apologetic and willing to assist. She simply wants the incident tended to and for the responsible party to handle the expenses brought on by the incident.
That bring us to where we are at now. Since the initial event, Jordan has been to the emergency room 3 times, the last two of which have been for extreme headaches, nausea and dizziness. Doctors have diagnosed him with post-concussion syndrome. It's a set of symptoms that may contine for weeks, months or a year or more after a concussion. Jordan is 4.0 honor student and athlete, but has been staying at home after initially trying to return to school but was unable to make it through the day. Both Alana and her husband are alternating taking days off from work to watch over him. They been enduring sleepless nights filled with Jordan in pain from migraines, crying, and most disturbing to us all abnormal mood swings. We are trying to make sure that there are no other physical injuries related to the concussion; and at the same time provide whatever mental and emotional counseling he needs to move beyond this.
Full disclosure: Although being urged by many to setup this GoFundMe page to help with some of these expenses, Alana is still really hesistant about asking for help like this. She isn't used to asking for help and doesn't want people to feel this is about making money off of what happened. As she told me, "if I have to go broke to not cloud the issue then so be it." But many of us don't feel that is just, so she agreed to this GoFundMe with the condition that any money raised beyond the expense of this will be donated to charity. So that is what we will do and report back on how much and who it was given to.
Thanks so much for reading about Jordan story and expressing some interests in helping. Your donation will be greatly appreciated, but we also ask for your continued prayers as we push forward in this uncertain time.
Thanks from the Jackson/Colbert family
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