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Family of second grader choked out by classmate calls for change

<i>Kean Bauman</i><br/>Darcy Spears conducts an exclusive interview with Armineh Rose
Kean Bauman
Darcy Spears conducts an exclusive interview with Armineh Rose

By Darcy Spears

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    LAS VEGAS, Nevada (KTNV) — Eight-year-old Julian Rose is a football champion when playing Roblox on his dad’s phone.

He finds safety and solace in the online game as he recovers from an incident in his classroom at Doral Academy’s Pebble Road campus.

“My neck hurt. And then my thumb, or my hands felt really numb,” Julian said.

He’s in second grade at the public charter school.

On March 7, Julian had just turned in his math packet and was heading back to his desk.

“While I was walking on my way, the kid came behind me and put me in a chokehold. Out of nowhere. I just went flat on the ground. And then when I woke up, I saw, like, five teachers,” he said.

Julian’s mother, Armineh, filed a police report accusing one of his second grade classmates of assault.

The police report says it’s unknown how long Julian was unconscious, but it was long enough for several teachers to be summoned and gather in his classroom.

Julian says when he regained consciousness, he saw his classmates gathered around him.

“They were crying and screaming,” thinking he might be dead, he recalled.

Armineh got the call from Doral Academy’s nurse.

“I was like, ‘I’m sorry, what?’ And she said, ‘He went unconscious. He’s stable now. He’s in the health office, but we need you to come pick him up.'”

The Rose family met with school Principal Beckie Williams the following day.

“We were told that there is legislation in place that protects students under the age of 11 when things like this happen,” said Armineh. “And that the events that took place were not grounds for expulsion.”

Armineh recorded the meeting on her cell phone. On the recording, Williams says, “This isn’t something that we’ve ever — I’ve never had this happen at our campus, so I have no words for it.”

Julian’s family learned the other student was suspended for a few days as a result of the incident.

“And then they had Spring Break. So, it was just an extended Spring Break, really,” said Tyler Rose, Julian’s father.

Julian’s parents pushed for more during the meeting with Principal Williams:

Armineh Rose: “What would warrant an expulsion? Like, how bad did this have to be?” Tyler Rose: “What if he killed him?” Armineh: “What if he held his jugular down long enough?” Tyler: “What if he held for, like, two seconds longer?” Armineh: “Paralysis? This was his neck. This wasn’t bones. This wasn’t a bruise or a bump. This was his neck.”

“I started to think about what second-grade kid could know how to do that without proper training,” Tyler told Channel 13 chief investigator Darcy Spears.

“I later learned this other student is trained in martial arts,” said Armineh. “He has a jiu jitsu background.”

The other student had briefly trained at Syndicate Mixed Martial Arts on Rainbow Boulevard and Sunset Road, where zero tolerance truly does mean zero. While Doral Academy, citing state law, simply moved the child to another class, the MMA school kicked him out.

“The foundation of everything we’re doing is based on respect, humility, and discipline,” said Syndicate jiu jitsu trainer Jerry Shapiro. “There’s never, ever, a situation where somebody should be choked unconscious unless your life is in danger.”

Tyler Rose says the only person whose life was in danger was his son’s, and he feels like accountability should match the severity of the action.

“I still can’t make sense of what’s going on,” Tyler said.

In the recorded meeting at Doral Academy, Williams tells Julian’s parents that her hands are tied by current state law.

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