Teachers are expected to be patient with students, especially when it comes to little children with disabilities, children that require more time and effort dedicated to them compared to other same-age children. That’s why in many states teachers that have to teach students with disabilities are required to undergo special trainings and learn how to deal with specific, potentially dangerous situations.
In a recent incident, elementary school special educator and her aide showed completely inappropriate behavior in class despite the fact they underwent those trainings required to be able to teach children with disabilities. According to multiple sources, both the teacher and her aide are accused of injuring two of their autistic students who were reportedly non-verbal.
According to KPRC, the teacher, identified as the 35-year-old B. Vaughn, and her aide, the 2-year-old M. Gonzalez-Valencia, were fired from the Tx. elementary school following the incident and are charged with several felony counts of injury to a child under 15 each.
Vaughn is suspected of kicking and roughly grabbing a 6-year-old non-verbal boy, and lifting a 9-year-old child off the floor by his ear, according to court documents. Gonzalez-Valencia is accused of hitting the same 6-year-old student, identified by his family as Pablo Reyna Jr., with an unknown object in class.
The educator and her aide are suspected to have abused their students for extended period of time, at least for a few months. Since the students were non-verbal and therefore unable to explain to their parents what has been happening in school, it took some time before the parents of the of the 6-year-old victim alerted the school officials after noticing that their son would often return home covered in scratches, bruises and bumps.
Pablo Reyna and Angelica Frias, the parents of the 6-year-old victim, couldn’t even imagine what their son has been going through while in school until they finally managed to see a video from Vaughn’s classroom, as a part of the investigation and obtained by the principal, which uncovered the alleged abuse.
“It’s heartbreaking because he isn’t able to talk,” Frias told ABC13. “He has autism, and he doesn’t talk, and he was not able to let me know what was going on.”
“Whether he was OK or not,” Reyna said, “I thought he could have been playing or something. You never know, he bumped his head or something. I mean, he’s a kid, but like I said, it was never in our mind that the teacher was abusive towards him like that.”
Those who reviewed the video, which was never publicly released, say that the teacher’s aide is clearly seen hitting Pablo Jr. in the head with an object from her desk after he tried to touch it. In a late March video, the teacher is also clearly seen kicking Pablo Jr. as he is spinning on the floor, causing him to slide across the room.
This video prompted the school principal to review other videos too. According to the parents, another video from early April shows Vaughn grabbing Pablo Jr. by the back of his shirt, yanking him up and then pushing him and causing him to fall. The special education teacher then allegedly gets hold of a 9-year-old’s ear and lifts him off the ground, causing the child to cry out. In response, Vaughn allegedly threatens to take away the boy’s tablet.
Vaughn was released from jail after posting $100,000 bond. Valencia-Gonzalez remains behind bars on $35,000 bond.