PLAISANCE, La (KLFY) – Plaisance Elementary physical education coaches Mona Wilson, Keidrick Owens, and three students were arrested by St. Landry Parish deputies on Tuesday after what deputies are calling ‘questionable disciplinary action’ taken against students at the school.
“The coaches would instruct three older students to take some younger students to the locker room and discpline for them,” said St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s spokesman, Major Eddie Thibodeaux.
Several parents from the school reached out to News 10 with their concerns. They told us how their kids brought this to their attention.
“Once they went into the locker room the two older boys would lock the door and take turns whipping them each with a belt,” said parent, Malanie Artigue.
“My son was bleeding from the mouth and everything,” said parent, Heather Noel. “My son was scared to go to school.”
Major Thibodeaux says the crime was brought to the attention of deputies by the school’s resource officer.
“We know of for a fact that there were 3 different cases at least,” said Major Thibodeaux.
The five arrests come on the heels of a nearly week-long investigation.
Although the school’s principal, Larry Watson, was cleared of any wrongdoing, he remains on administrative leave.
“He had no knowledge of this occuring as far as we can tell,” said Major Thibodeaux.
The parents of the 5th grade student’s who were allegedly whipped said they believe 7th graders were behind the attacks.
“When my kids told me about this when I got home I checked my little boy to see if he had any marks on him or anything and he did, he had brusies on his legs,” said Artigue.
“I think that he’s kind of afraid that somebody’s probably going to retailate on him,” said parent, Annette Lazard.
Artigue says she confronted the coaches once she found out about the incident, but says they denied it ever happened.
“It’s sad that we have to send our kids to this school to get an education and instead they’re getting bullied, and not only by the kids, they’re getting sent to get bullied by the teachers with the students,” said Noel.
Coach Wilson and Coach Owens both face charges of malfeasance in office, criminal conspiracy, and encouraging or contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Additionally, Coach Wilson is charged with obstruction of justice because deputies report that she called some of the parents and students and told them to stick to the story and not to tell law enforcement or the principal anything new.