Grandmother files lawsuit, claims Horry County Schools security officer placed fourth grader in ‘chokehold’

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) – A grandmother is suing Horry County Schools after she said that a private school security officer put her 9-year-old grandson in a chokehold while the child was having a panic attack. 

The lawsuit, filed by Mary Ellen Lashoones, was filed on Oct. 4 in the Court of Common Pleas in the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit. 

The lawsuit claims that the student, who was in the fourth grade at Waterway Elementary School at the time, was having a panic attack in a classroom. The teacher called administration, who then called in the school security guard, according to the lawsuit. 

The officer put the child in a “chokehold,” according to court documents, and the teacher and administrator yelled at them to let go of the child.

The child’s injuries “greatly limited, or altogether eliminated, the activities in which he was able to participate and caused him great pain and suffering,” according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit also states that the family has “extensive medical bills” due to the alleged incident, and that the student can no longer attend school in-person because he is afraid to.

The lawsuit said the officer, who is with U.S. Security Associates, Inc., used excessive force.

The lawsuit is asking for an unspecified amount of damages and requests a jury trial. 

Lisa Bourcier, a spokeswoman for the district, said Horry County Schools does not comment on pending litigation.

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