*Note: We have blurred the guard's face because there has been no official determination he violated policy. The boy's mother gave permission to show her son.
The mother of a Seattle middle school student is upset after a security guard body slammed her son to the ground, landing him in the hospital. The incident at Washington Middle School was caught on surveillance video.
Diana Lightner admits her 12-year-old son has behavioral issues, with defiance and impulse control. But she was still shocked to see the video of what happened that landed her son in the emergency room.
On February 16, school staff had taken the 7th grader's phone away from him and he was acting out.
"I received a phone call at work," said Lightner. "They told me they had taken [her son's] phone away. That he had been destructive to school property by tearing decorations down."
Surveillance video attests to that part of the story. Lightner's son walked into the entryway and started yanking down decorations from the ceiling.
Almost immediately a security officer walked in, cornered the student in a doorway, and after a short struggle slammed him down and held him on the ground.
When he complained his back hurt and he couldn't move his legs, they called his mother.
"Honestly, because I know my kid, I was like, 'Make him stand up. I'm sure he can stand up.' I'm not one of those over-reactive parents," said Lightner.
After watching the video, Lightner regrets doubting her son.
Eventually, paramedics arrived to take the boy to Harborview Medical Center. Doctors found no serious injuries, but he was very sore.
"I was talking to social workers, talking to doctors and they were basically all aghast at the amount of force used against a 12-year-old when no more force should have been a bear hug," Lightner said.
Seattle Public Schools declined to comment on the incident because it's under investigation.
Lightner said the district provided her the security officer's version of the story. In his statement, he said he tried to calm the 7th grader down, but the student "refused and became even more angry, pushed against me and turned around and swung at me. After he swung I grabbed him by his jacket and got him to the ground."
Because some of the contact happens out of the camera's view, it's difficult to tell if the boy ever tried to hit the security officer.
"I don't want to sue anyone," Lightner said. "I don't want him to lose his job. I just want the kids in Seattle schools to get the resources they need. All of them. Not just the good kids."
The district just approved the boy's transfer to another school.
Lightner argues the security staffer should have tried to de-escalate the situation before getting physical with her son.