Lawsuit filed against Tift Co. teacher accused of knocking down - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lawsuit filed against Tift Co. teacher accused of knocking down student

Surveillance footage appears to show a Stripling knocking down the student in a hallway at school. (Source: Tifton Police/ Tift County Schools) Surveillance footage appears to show a Stripling knocking down the student in a hallway at school. (Source: Tifton Police/ Tift County Schools)
At the time, Sarah's son Cohen was just 3 years old, this is Cohen at 5-years-old. (Source: Family) At the time, Sarah's son Cohen was just 3 years old, this is Cohen at 5-years-old. (Source: Family)
Cohen's mom started a Change.org petition for Amelia Stripling to have a grand jury hearing. (Source: Change.org) Cohen's mom started a Change.org petition for Amelia Stripling to have a grand jury hearing. (Source: Change.org)
Sarah Patterson (Source: WALB) Sarah Patterson (Source: WALB)
Dustin Land (Source: WALB) Dustin Land (Source: WALB)
TIFT CO., GA (WALB) -

A Tifton mother and her lawyer have filed a civil suit against Amelia Stripling, a former Tift County pre-school teacher who was caught on camera in March of 2016 kneeing a student in the back.

Surveillance footage appears to show a Stripling knocking down the student in a hallway at school. The story made national headlines.

Stripling resigned from her job after the incident and turned herself in after arrest warrants were issued.

She was released on a $15,000 bond a few days later.

Sarah Patterson said she and her lawyer Dustin Land are suing Stripling now because they have more facts and research needed to hold her accountable.

"This kind of stuff cannot happen and go ignored," said Patterson.

At the time, Sarah's son Cohen was just 3 years old.

Land said they are learning more facts and research about the incident that happened, but would not give specifics as to not sway the jury.

"There's nothing more important than your children," said Patterson.

Patterson wants to raise awareness about children's well-being.

"People who are responsible for their safety are held accountable for that, that's very important," said Patterson.

On Friday she started a Change.org petition for Amelia Stripling to have a grand jury hearing.

Patterson said she is looking to get 7,500 signatures. She currently has more than 6,000 supporters. 

And for Land, he said it is a personal investment.

"Cohen is the only person that has not had a voice, as children usually don't have a voice. And I want to bring awareness on behalf of Cohen and his mother that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated and that children do have a voice," said Land.

For now, Patterson says she wants justice for her son.

"My hope is to just bring awareness for all kids in school, not just Cohen and not just this situation, but any situation that happens with any child in school," said Patterson.

As for the 2nd-degree cruelty to a child charge against Stripling, that case is still ongoing in the court system. 

Read the full lawsuit below:

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