CPS Teacher Accused of Abusing Students With Special Needs: Suit – NBC Chicago

A Chicago Public Schools teacher is accused of abusing students with special needs in a new lawsuit filed by eight parents who allege the teacher hit children with her hands and a ruler and would regularly curse at them.

The disturbing allegations came alongside an alleged recording of the teacher, in which she can be heard telling students at Whistler Elementary “the longer you cry, the longer I will hit you.”

“When I learned what was going on in her classroom, my worst fears have been realized,” said parent Candace Bowman, who is the mother to a nonverbal child with autism. “Now looking back, it all makes sense.”

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of eight parents and guardians of children in kindergarten through second grade, who each have mental and physical disabilities. It names CPS, the Board of Education, the teacher and the school’s principal.

CPS said its Office of Student Protections and Title IX are investigating the allegations.

“Chicago Public Schools is committed to the safety and well-being of our students and takes seriously all allegations of employee misconduct,” the district said in a statement to NBC 5. “CPS investigates and addresses all complaints in accordance with district policies and procedures to foster safe and secure learning environments in all schools. In accordance with student privacy laws, the district does not comment on ongoing investigations and/or personnel matters.”

Parent Julie Hagam said she started to notice changes in 6-year-old son upon his attendance at the school.

“I noticed that when he started at Whistler, he stopped eating his lunch. He was not like that before it was other schools,” she said. “I also noticed that he would cry as soon as we pulled up to the school, and he didn’t want to go in. I also saw that when he came home from school, he started using expressions that he didn’t learn at home, including ‘Shut your a-word up.’

“I thought that he was picking it up from other kids at the school,” she continued. “I didn’t … never did I imagine that he was getting that type of language from the teacher.”

The lawsuit claims the misconduct was continuous and ongoing through February.

“How could something like this happen in this classroom for such an extended period of time and no one speak up?” said Attorney Victor Henderson with the Cochran Firm, who is representing plaintiffs in the suit. “Which makes us believe people were afraid to speak up.”

The district said the teacher has been removed the school while it investigates the allegations.

“I am here today to stand up and fight for my daughter because she cannot do it herself,” Bowman said.

Soruce : https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/chicago-public-schools-lawsuit-students-special-needs-abuse/3097190/

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