The older brother of an Olney High School student who recently spoke out about alleged mistreatment by a school district police officer was sent home with a letter Thursday that said he would be transferred from Olney High East to South Philadelphia High School.
Tyreek Wiggins, 14, a ninth-grader at Olney High West, was quoted in the Daily News and Inquirer this week saying an officer known as "Sarge" donned a pair of black leather gloves and pulled his arm back as if to punch him.
Tyreek, 5 feet 1 and 98 pounds, said that another school police officer grabbed the officer's arm and said, "Don't hit him, Sarge."
Tyreek spoke up after the officer who allegedly acted as if to hit him, Sgt. Robert Samuels, was assigned to South Philly High in the aftermath of attacks on Asian immigrant students at the school. Samuels, who once lived in Hong Kong and appeared in martial-arts films, speaks Cantonese and Mandarin.
District officials have said that no complaints had been filed against Samuels at Olney.
On Thursday, Tyreek's mother, Angela Boyd, said that her older son, Terrence Wiggins, 15, a ninth-grader at Olney High East, came home with a letter that said Terrence must transfer from Olney because he had 37 "absences/cuts."
But Boyd said Terrence's report card shows two absences and 25 tardies.
"My son [Terrence] was distraught when he came home with that paper, " she said.
"He said, 'Why am I getting transferred to South Philly High? What did I do wrong?' "
Boyd said she talked with school district officials yesterday to complain about the letter because she believed the school was retaliating against her family and forcing Terrence to transfer from Olney to South Philadelphia.
The family lives in South Philadelphia, but Boyd said they had lived in the Olney High region until May. Both sons moved up from a Feltonville middle school to Olney in September.
School officials were aware in September that the family lives in South Philadelphia but never said it was a problem, Boyd said.
Late yesterday afternoon, after being contacted by the Daily News, district spokesman Fernando Gallard said Olney East Principal Newton Brown "has reached out to the parents to say he had made a mistake in sending the letter to the student.
"It is against school district policy to transfer a student in the middle of a school year," Gallard said.