Teacher's License Suspended Due to Reported Special Needs Student Abuse

Teacher's License Suspended Due to Reported Special Needs Student Abuse

Posted By The Maher Law Firm || 16-Feb-2015

A teacher recently had his license suspended by the Florida Education Practices Commission for allegedly hurling insults and assaulting special needs students at a Broward County middle school.

The teacher at McNichol Middle School was accused of inflicting various forms of physical and verbal abuse on the children, including hitting one student over the head with a ruler and telling another that he was going to "cut his throat and chop off his head," according to the Sun-Sentinel.

A complaint also alleged that the teacher told another child to "dress up like a woman and go to South Beach" and shoved another child forcefully into his seat. The incidents were alleged to have occurred during the 2011-2012 school year.

Even though the teacher was fired in April 2013, he could have taught elsewhere in the state. However, with this license now suspended through January 2016, that won't happen.

Additionally, even after his suspension ends, the teacher will need to be on probation status for two years, pay a $500 fine and - most importantly - complete a course on teaching special needs students, the Sun-Sentinel states.

Abuse of Special Needs Students is Widespread

Unfortunately, this teacher's case is just one of many similar episodes of known or suspected special needs child abuse occurring in schools and on school buses across Florida and the rest of the country.

In the last week of January alone, a New York teacher was accused of punching a special needs student in the face and an Arizona principal was placed on paid administrative leave as the state investigates allegations that he hit a special needs student's head on a table following a bus altercation.

Unfortunately, the agencies that serve disabled students say that there is not a lot of literature to support how many cases of special needs school abuse happens every year.

One study suggests that 1 in 3 children with an identified disability are victims of some sort of mistreatment, such as neglect, physical abuse or sexual abuse.

In May 2009, the Government Accountability Office issued a report documenting cases of special needs abuse in public and private schools nationwide, including Florida incidents in which a teacher's aide gagged and duct taped elementary-aged children for misbehaving. Some of the reported cases resulted in deaths.

Some parents believe they must take matters into their own hands. For example, some parents of special needs students have taken to wiring their children with recording devices to listen in on the school day, making sure that their children are in capable hands. In some states, that's not even legal. Still, it shows the degree of desperation that many parents feel when it comes to protecting the safety and dignity of their children while under someone else's supervision.

If you believe your child has been abused at school or by another caregiver, contact The Maher Law Firm for more information about your legal rights and the options you have for putting an end to your child's mistreatment and seeking relief that your child deserves.

Blog Home