Henry County

Teacher faces battery charge after yanking student's hair, police say

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — A middle school teacher is facing a battery charge after police say she yanked an eighth-grade student's hair after she asked to use the bathroom.

Channel 2's Tom Jones was in Henry County, where he worked all day to learn if the teacher, Tracy Parham, turned herself in. Police said she was required to turn herself in by 9 a.m. Friday.

Jones learned that the incident happened at Henry County Middle School in January -- and that the whole thing was caught on camera.

Jones spoke to 14-year-old victim Sequoia McMillian, who said that Parham yanked her by the hair and pulled her out of class and into a hallway.

Sequoia said she had asked Parham if she could use the bathroom for a minor emergency, and Parham had told her "no." She got permission from another teacher, and when she came back to her science class, she felt the tug on her hair.

Sequoia told Jones that at first, she thought it was another student, but then the tugging got more extreme.

"I just felt somebody pull me from behind," Sequoia said. "My neck snapped all the way back. Like, my head goes back and I'm trying to keep my balance."

School video recorded what happened. A school resource officer who saw the video filed a battery charge against Parham. A judge who looked at the video found probable cause and issued an arrest warrant for her.

Sequoia's mother, Latrice McMillian, said she saw the video and can't believe the teacher put her hands on her daughter.

"You can just see a hand come up and grab her from behind by her braids," McMillian said. "Why should she be grabbing and jerking and grabbing kids?"

McMillian said the video also shows other students trying to pry Parham's hands off of Sequoia.


The school acknowledged what happened and sent a recording to parents informing them that Parham was supposed to turn herself in to police Friday.

In court, Parham said the whole thing was an accident, McMillian said.

But Sequoia told Jones that Parham has done similar things to other students in the past, they had been afraid to report them.

"How do you accidentally grab somebody's hair and start pulling them from behind?" McMillian said.

Sequoia said that now, Parham will have to face the consequences.

"I felt like that wasn't right," Sequoia said.

McMillian took Seqouia out of the school because administrators put her daughter in the library to keep her away from Parham -- and let the teacher stay in the classroom.

McMillian said that isolated Sequoia and made her feel like she had done something wrong.

Jones called the solicitor's office, but no one has returned his calls to see if Parham turned herself in. The jail did not show records of Parham being an inmate there as of Friday evening.

Jones also went to Parham's home, but no one answered the door.