Albany teacher arrested accused of strangling 6-year-old student

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Two photos show one of the cuts a 6-year-old boy suffered after alleged abuse by a teacher at school.

The child’s family is now suing KIPP Albany Community Public Charter School, KIPP Tech Valley Charter Schools, and the teacher, Francine Ruffin.

The family’s attorney, Daniel Smalls, of Smalls Law PLLC, said the elementary school student is frightened by the incident.

“The kid is now in counseling. The kid is scared to go back to school.”

In the 13-page lawsuit, the 6-year-old is listed as ‘P.S.’

It claims:

P.S. was standing in line for the bathroom while other students were bullying P.S. and he asked them to stop.

That’s when Ruffin allegedly violently grabbed P.S. by his wrist and neck and her nails penetrated his skin.

Ruffin then allegedly, picked up P.S. by his neck and arms until his feet were off the floor and then put him in a closet.

The lawsuit claims Ruffin has put other students in the closet.

Attorney Smalls said P.S. reportedly told the principal what happened.

“The principal didn’t believe it. That same teacher was still left with the child and essentially just gave him a Band-Aid to cover up the laceration that he had,” he said.

Smalls also said the boy’s mom did not get any sort of notice from the school. She found out what happened when her son came home and told her.

“Mom, at first, didn’t really believe him. Not to say that he was fabricating but because of how egregious it was,” Smalls said. “She was really concerned that 1) it happened but 2) no one from the school would have contacted her to let her know about this happening.”

Smalls said mom went to the school the next day with the police.

Ruffin was arrested by Albany Police just days after the alleged incident. The arrest report details a very similar narrative to the lawsuit.

It states Ruffin placed her hands around the victim’s throat…applied pressure causing him not to be able to breathe.

Ruffin was charged with strangulation in the second degree and endangering the welfare of a child.

13 Investigates called Ruffin and she declined to comment.

In a statement from KIPP Capital Region Schools, it said,

“Upon learning about the allegation, the staff member was immediately suspended and has since been terminated. We are cooperating fully with any external investigations. Student and staff safety is our highest priority, and we appreciate the partnership of our families and community in that effort.

In the lawsuit, the child’s family alleges assault, negligence, battery and emotional distress. They’re also looking for compensation, but a dollar amount has not yet been listed in the lawsuit.