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What is AMI Kids? Former student shares memories

"You get searched first. That’s the first thing that we do."

LEALMAN, Fla. — A school employee has been arrested and police are looking for another school employee after a 12-year-old boy suffered a skull fracture.

The Pinellas Park Police Department said the student was being treated at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital for a fractured skull, two subdural hematomas and a brain bleed. Police say it all started Feb. 11 when the boy reportedly skipped the lunch line at AMI Kids in Pinellas Park.

Behavioral interventionist Jarvis West "body-slammed" the boy, who lost consciousness several times, according to an arrest report.

RELATED: Police: 12-year-old suffers skull fracture after being 'body slammed' by school employee, one person arrested

10 News reporter Beau Zimmer spoke with a former student Tuesday evening who shared his experience from his teenage years.

Beau: For people who don’t know what AMI is… What is it?

Bailey: Basically, it’s a school that you go to when you get kicked out of your other school, or you’re released from a youth program. 

Beau: Kind of like a last chance for some kids?

Bailey: Yeah, like another alternative to what you were doing before.

Beau: Take me through what an average day is like.

Bailey: You get searched first. That’s the first thing that we do… we get searched. We get patted down, pull our pockets out, stuff like that. And then we come back downstairs and go to breakfast. We go to breakfast, sit and eat. And then after that we go to class and take the bus home.

Beau: What was the interaction like between the students and the adult supervisors?

Bailey: It all depends on their body language -- how they’re trying to act. If they’re trying to swing on somebody, then sometimes they will grab you by the arm and say, ‘hey come sit down’ and if you buck, they’ll take you to the ground. 

Beau: What’s your most intense memory of physical contact?

Bailey: I got put in a chokehold and I got roughed up a little bit and at first it kind of startled me, so I was moving around a lot and then it kind of told me like if you keep moving you’re going to the floor and that’s when I was like, whatever.

Beau: What are the best things you got out of your time there?

Bailey: It taught me how to grow up a little bit I guess.  It was more of like, you can really get in trouble for being bad at school. So it made me slow down and think a little more before I did stuff and just acting out. It just taught me to grow up.

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