Chicago Public Schools sued by parents of special needs students claiming teacher abused students
Parents of special needs students have filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) claiming that a teacher physically abused the students by hitting them with wooden rulers and other objects in the classroom.
The lawsuit filed on Wednesday by eight parents and guardians of children in grades kindergarten through second grade alleges that the teacher mentally and physically abused the students with special needs at Whistler Elementary School with the support and knowledge of the principal.
The lawsuit claims that the teacher, “administered harmful, physical and violent corporal punishment,” by hitting her students with her hands, wooden rulers and other wood devices. The parents also said that the teacher would threaten to physically harm their special needs children when they had difficulty completing an assignment or task.
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The lawsuit alleges that the teacher would also regularly yell profanities at the young child: “Get your a– up here” and “Shut the f—- up.” The complaint says it was common for the educator to tell the children, “the longer you cry, the longer I will hit you.”
The parents allege in the complaint that the principal at Whistler Elementary School was complacent and supported the teacher’s actions, despite children showing signs of physical abuse.
When a parent questioned the teacher and school principal, the parents say they were told that “these physically and mentally challenged minor children at times are clumsy (and) tend to fall.”
“I want the teacher who was involved to go to jail. I feel like the principal knew because the teacher has been at Whistler for 20 years,” Julie Hagan, whose son attends Whistler, said at a news conference on Thursday. “The abuse by that teacher has to be an open secret.”
Hagan, the mother of a 6-year-old boy who is diagnosed with autism, said her son stopped eating lunch when he started at Whistler Elementary School in the fall and began to cry when they pulled up to the school in the morning.
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The boy also began using expressions he had not learned at home, but she assumed they were heard by other students.
“Never did I imagine that he was getting that type of language from the teacher,” Hagen said in a statement to the media Thursday. “When I look back on it, what happened made me feel terrible because I wasn’t picking up the signs that my son was being abused.”
Another parent, Pearl King, said she took her 5-year-old daughter to the hospital when she came home from school one day in October with signs of abuse. King said she complained to the teacher and principal, who both “acted like nothing was wrong.”
King said her daughter’s behavior has changed since that day. She now wets the bed, is “afraid of making simple mistakes,” and cries when the school bus approaches.
On Thursday, CPS released a statement regarding the lawsuit, stating that the teacher has been removed from the classroom while the school investigates the allegations.
“Chicago Public Schools is committed to the safety and well-being of our students and takes seriously all allegations of employee misconduct. 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.”
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CPS did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.