GARNER, North Carolina (WTVD) — A father who’s filed a lawsuit against the Wake County School System and several of his son’s teachers sat down for an exclusive interview with ABC 11. Eric Fennell, Sr. alleges his son’s teachers assaulted the child on campus-and says race played a role in how his son was treated by the school staff.

“It did not have to come to this point,” Fennell said. “We had four adults in that room and an African-American kid [who was] 8 years old.”

It’s been nearly 4 years, but Fennell still gets emotional talking about that morning in the front office of Vandora Springs Elementary School in Garner.

Fennell was dropping his son, Eric Jr., off at school that day; but the 8-year-old wouldn’t let go of his dad.

“So they being to try to pry my son’s fingers off my legs. They couldn’t get them off so they asked us to move inside the office,” Fennell described.

It took the school’s PE teacher to break the child’s grip; that’s when Fennell was told he could leave. But, as he was walking down the hall, Fennell says he heard Eric Jr.’s cries.

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