NC teacher’s mistreatment of child led to lighter fluid assault, family says

Shequelia Sheala Leonard (Durham Police)

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Durham Public Schools is investigating a family’s claim of a teacher mistreating their child at Eno Valley Elementary School.

The student’s mother, Shequeila Leonard, 30, is currently in jail after she was accused of trying to light her child’s teacher on fire during a meeting in April.

RELATED: Durham mom douses teacher with lighter fluid during meeting, police say

But, her family says there was more to the story.

“Tape had been placed on her child’s mouth numerous times as well as his nose, he had been dragged out of his seat,” said Victoria Peterson, a supporter of Leonard.

“I want something to come up,” said Vashawne Dawson, Leonard’s fiancé. “I want investigations. Everything.”

Dawson sent DPS a letter this week calling for an investigation into the allegations.


The school system confirmed they’ve started an investigation.

“For a 6-year-old to go through that what he went through, a grown man should not have gone through what he went through,” said Dawson. “By him being 6 years old, he thinks about this all the time. Everyday.”

Supporters who have talked to Leonard since her arrest told CBS North Carolina she is sorry for what she has done, but they say the finger pointing doesn’t stop with her.

“The Durham Public School system also holds some liability here also, some responsibility because of the situation,” said Peterson.

Leonard’s case was heard in court Thursday to try to get her bond reduced so that she could be at home with her children, but that did not happen.

Her case will be heard again next month.

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