A Kentucky teacher was caught on video dragging a nine-year-old autistic boy down the hallways of an elementary school.
The student’s mother, Angel Nelson, horrified by what she saw in surveillance footage, posted the video onto Facebook Sunday night. She wrote, “I’m taking this public for help and advice. We, as parents, trust teachers and school staff on a daily basis to help teach and help our children succeed. We should never have to worry about anything like this happening.”
The video shows the teacher pull the child out of a classroom and then, drag him down several corridors sometimes on his back, other times, on his knees. Initially, she appears to grip the boy by his right arm and later, by both of his wrists. At one point, she commands him, “Get up.” The boy says, “No.” The teacher attempts to lift the youngster up from behind to force him to stand but he appears to remain limp. She then pulls him around a corner and down another hallway.
Nelson explained this happened in late October. “It was so hard for me to watch,” she told WSAZ on Monday. “He didn’t do anything wrong.”
Although the school district did not release the name the educator involved in the incident, Nelson reportedly identified her as Trina Abrams, a resource teacher, via Facebook. The distraught mother also said her son was previously diagnosed with ADHD, PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
“In addition, his speech is also limited,” wrote Nelson on Facebook. “He has an IEP (Individualized Education Program) in place to help make sure that all his needs are met while at school.”
In Nelson’s post, she mentioned her son had a meltdown in class prior to the incident, something, she said, he experiences as part of his diagnoses. Nelson called the teacher’s actions “violent enough” that it destroyed the child’s shoes. She said a doctor diagnosed her son with sprains in both wrists.
“My son deserves justice,” wrote Nelson on Facebook.
On Monday, Greenup County Schools Superintendent Sherry Horsely told WSAZ the teacher was no longer teaching at the school. The school district released a statement advising they “followed established safety protocol as soon this situation became known.” They said the boy’s parent was contacted immediately and the school nurse assessed the him, referring the 9-year-old for outside medical evaluation. Additionally, they contacted Child Protective Services and the Kentucky State Police opened an investigation.
“The teacher was removed from the school and a formal investigation was conducted. The superintendent also followed protocol and reported the incident to the Kentucky Education Standards Board. The EPSB determines whether or not a teacher keeps their teaching certificate. All GCSD staff are trained to prevent incidents of restraint. Each school has a specially trained team to address immediate issues. In addition, each school has teachers specially trained to address autism related behaviors,” read the statement.
The boy’s stepfather, Calep Nelson believes the teacher losing her job isn’t enough. “This is the same lady that looked us in the eye and said, ‘Your son is safe with me.’”
According to WSAZ, Greenup County Courthouse sources told them the teacher will be arraigned Wednesday morning on a charge of fourth degree assault, which is a misdemeanor.