Dad says he's being punished by school for protecting daughter - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Dad says he's being punished by school for protecting daughter

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Damon Holligan Damon Holligan
WHITE HOUSE, TN (WSMV) -

It's a natural instinct for parents to protect their kids, but one father says he's being punished for being protective. He's been banned from his daughter's school and wonders if the system went too far.

Damon Holligan was picking up his 11-year-old daughter Shayla from White House Heritage Elementary School.

"When I saw her coming out the door, I saw a boy grab her arm and kick her in her leg," Holligan said.

In that moment, Holligan did what many parents might do in the situation. He got out of the car and ran over to his daughter to make sure she was OK.

Holligan says the boy who kicked Shayla ran off. The father immediately told a teacher what happened and he says the teacher found the boy.

"I just asked the boy why he kicked my daughter in front of a police officer and two teachers and asked would he apologize," Holligan said.

Holligan says school staff had Shayla fill out an incident report.

Two days later, the school's principal called Holligan for a meeting, and what happened next stunned him.

"She immediately handed me a letter saying I was no longer allowed on the grounds of the school property until further notice because it was inappropriate for me to even say anything," Holligan said.

Contrary to the father's story, the police incident report says it was Holligan, not a teacher, who went looking for the boy.

District policy says the principal can exclude anyone from the school who disrupts students. But Holligan argues the school didn't enforce its student code of conduct.

He says the boy who kicked Shayla was never punished.

"She doesn't understand why she's the one who got physically assaulted and yet now her daddy can't come to lunch with her," Holligan said.

Just to go to his daughter's band concert, Holligan had to get special permission.

He now has his lawyer involved, and, for that reason, the school district said it wouldn't comment.

"My lawyer is involved because we want to get this resolved. It's not fair," Holligan said.

Holligan added he's taking the issue to the school board. If he doesn't get some satisfaction, he says he plans to file a lawsuit.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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