Family: Classroom aide abused 5-year-old

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CANARSIE -

A kindergarten student in Canarsie claims she was physically abused by a classroom aide, and activists are demanding the school take action.

Ariana Branch's family says she came home from school with bruises last Wednesday. She says a classroom aide forcibly grabbed her by the arm and dragged her across the classroom after she was taking too long moving to the classroom rug.

With the support of community activists, the family is now calling for the aide to be removed from all classrooms.

This was not the first time the aide has been accused of abuse. She was investigated for a verbal incident in February.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Department of Education said, "All classrooms must be safe and supportive learning environments and we take these allegations extremely seriously. The principal is conducting a diligent investigation and we'll take appropriate follow-up action."

Activists say the principal agreed to write the aide up, but they're still waiting to see if she'll be removed from the classroom.

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