Multiple autistic children were abused by a special needs teacher, according to a lawsuit filed by their parents. Theresa Allen-Caulboy is accused of physically and mentally abusing several elementary age students in her care. The incidents reportedly occurred at MNO Grant Elementary School in California.
The lawsuit, filed by three sets of parents, also names principal Michael Green, special education director David Wax, special ed coordinator Kai Montgomery, and assistant superintendent Keith Rogenski. School administrators are accused of refusing the address the situation despite multiple complaints.
As reported by CourthouseNews.com, the complaint alleges that Allen-Caulboy tormented the special needs students in her classroom. She allegedly yelled, called the children names, and subjected them to physical abuse. Several of the children allegedly suffered bruising from being forcibly restrained.
The lead plaintiff, Larry Evans, claims that his 5-year-old autistic son was repeatedly struck, thrown to the ground, and poked in the face. His son indicated that he observed similar abuse toward his classmates.
Evans’ child is unable to speak due to his disability, but his parents realized something was wrong when he stopped enjoying school. The parents reportedly called the school nearly 20 times trying to address their son’s behavioral changes, with no resolution.
As reported by Contra Costa Times, in September last year, a speech-language pathologist observed Allen-Caulboy shouting at students that were unable to respond verbally. On two other occasions, the pathologist reportedly informed school administration of the concerns, but nothing was done.
Allen-Caulboy was not suspended from her position until the middle of January 2013. School administration received numerous complaints in the span of four months, from the pathologist and parents, that multiple autistic students were being abused by the special needs teacher.
The complaints included unexplained bruises, reported physical abuse, and an incident where Allen-Caulboy allegedly twisted a student’s nipple. She was also overheard calling the children “retards.”
The teacher eventually resigned from her position in February 2013, but parents are not satisfied as they blame school administrators for letting the abuse continue for months.
The parents contacted police and the allegations have been filed with the prosecutor’s office No criminal charges of abuse have currently been filed against Allen-Caulboy.
The tree families have filed a lawsuit, asking for medical expenses and punitive damages. The lawsuit is claiming that the constitutional rights of the autistic children were violated. They also accuse the special needs teacher of discrimination.