(PICS)The Teacher Aid Bruised My Daughter...DCF Dismissed the Case UPDATE
My daughter Azaria is a 7 year old Autistic girl. A few weeks ago my daughter ran off school grounds after being triggered by a teacher's Aid. She is in a full time ESE class. The teacher got frustrated and grabbed my daughter's arm and squeezed too hard. I called DCF and did a 51a (abuse or neglect) and got a letter in the mail today that the report was unfounded and that the Sheriff's department also decided not to persue charges. The school also has not taken any disciplinary action. To make matters worse, last week (after she found out I filed a report with DCF) the teacher's aid restrained my daughter because she "refused to put her folder away". She was not being self injurious, she didn't even say anything. She sat there with her arms folded and refused to respond or acknowledge the teacher's aid. I filed another complaint about her with the school district but nothing is being done. I even emailed and called the Superintendent about 2 weeks ago about the first incident but never heard anything. I don't know what to do and no one here seems to be able to give me the next step.
It was brought to my attention that I should include a few more details. Azaria told the teachers aid that a boy told her to shut up. She told my daughter to sit down and stay away from the boy. My daughter started crying because she felt like she was being punished (they were in gym class and were supposed to be playing). He older sister, who has gym class with her, came over to console Azaria. The aid noticed and told my eldest to go play and to ignore Azaria. She got up to walk away so Azaria started crying again reaching toward her sister, leaning away from the aid. My daughter was grabbed by the teachers aid and pulled back to her original position. Azaria screamed and ran away from the aid. She ran into a field in the back of the school (not anywhere near a road) and sat down crying. The aid grabbed her by the arm and forced her into a standing poisition. My daughter started yelling that she wanted her sissy and her mommy (her sister witnessed the account) and the aid screamed at her "You can't have your sissy and mommy. Now Walk!" while dragging her back towards the school. At that point 2 other aids showed up and assist walked my daughter to the time-out room which is when I was called.
The account of the events I have is a compilation from Azaria, my eldest, other students who were involved, and the gym teacher.
Yes, they are bruises. The DCF doctor agrees they are the type of bruising you get from broken cappilaries when skin is squeezed.
I got a call from the school yesterday as well as a notice sent home explaining the result of the schools internal investigation. Apparently that partiular aid was recently (around the time of the second incident with my daughter) overly aggressive with a Down's Syndrome boy who is also in my daughter's class. Strangely enough, that is the boy my daughter refers to as her "Boyfriend". The boy had similar bruising on his upper arm (most of this info I got from the teacher, not the Vice Principal who called me). The teacher's aid (who should have been fired) has been suspended without pay for 2 weeks. Afterword "she will moved to different duties as to ensure no further contact with ESE students takes place". I'm not exactly sure what that means (hopefully she will be cleaning toilets) but at least I don't have to worry about her being around children who cannot defend themselves. Nico (the other boy she bruised) is probably the sweetest little boy I have ever met. I can't imagine any circumstance where she would have needed to be aggressive with him. The only thing he really does "wrong" is he has accidents sometimes...like pees his pants but there are still some "normal" 7 year olds that pee their pants sometimes. Either way, at least she won't be around these children who need our protection. Our children need to feel safe in school, not as though going is a punishment!