Fresno Elementary School Teacher Under Fire For Allegedly Locking 7-Year-Old Special Needs Girl In A Cage

Ledelldra Brooks, the mother of a developmentally disabled girl, has reportedly filed a legal claim against her 7-year-old daughter's former teacher. According to the Press Democrat, the child was locked inside a "makeshift cage" by her the first-grade teacher at Viking Elementary in Fresno, California.

In October, Brooks filed two claims -- one against the teacher and the other against school administrators. She stated that she discovered how her child was being treated back in May, when she stopped by the school for an unannounced visit. She reportedly found her daughter wearing a soiled diaper and sitting inside the cage.

According to CBS-San Francisco, the cage was set up with a toddler gate and crib gate attached to two bookshelves inside the classroom. Brooks immediately notified the Fresno Police Department, who dismantled the makeshift cage. The details of the police department's investigation were forwarded to the district attorney on the grounds of possible misdemeanor child abuse.

"I honestly want the public to know what's going on behind special education, what went on in my daughter's class," Brooks explained.

According to the Fresno Bee, the teacher Teresa MonPere was immediately placed on administrative leave. On Friday, MonPere revealed she no longer works at Viking Elementary. However, she declined to comment about the alleged incident. Joseph Bowling, executive director of the board that oversees the San Joaquin Valley on behalf of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, shared his disapproval of the child's disheartening treatment.

"This is not something I would put a child into and claim this is for their own protection. It's a cage, this is what you would put a wild animal in. I can't believe that somebody, an administrator walking in that room and seeing it, would allow that."

Micheline Golden, spokeswoman for the Fresno Unified School District, released a statement in regards to the treatment of students with disabilities.

"We take these situations very seriously. We conducted a thorough investigation consistent with our personnel procedures. I can't share any outcome of that investigation because it is a personnel issue. Fresno Unified is committed to providing the best education possible for our special education students and being their advocates."

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[Image via Fresno Bee/Ledelldra Brooks]