By Roxie Bustamante
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ALDINE, Texas (KTRK) – A first grade student with autism was reportedly physically injured by an Aldine ISD teacher and teacher aide.
The 6-year-old’s parents, Pablo Reyna and Angelica Frias, said they noticed their son coming home from school with scratches, bruises and bumps on his head.
“Whether he’s okay or not,” Reyna said, “I thought he might have been playing or something. You never know, he hit his head or something. I mean , he’s a kid, but like I said, we never thought the teacher was abusive to him like that.
Frias said what appeared to be minor injuries happened several times over the months and both parents asked their student’s teacher about it.
“It’s heartbreaking because he’s not able to speak,” Frias said. “He’s autistic and he doesn’t talk, and he’s not able to let me know what’s going on.”
She said their request was eventually forwarded to administrative staff at Raymond Elementary School and an investigation was initiated.
Reyna’s parents told ABC13 that school staff allowed parents to view three videos of alleged incidents that occurred in January and April involving the teacher and the first-grade special education paraprofessional.
“It shows her sitting at the desk,” Reyna said, recalling a video allegedly involving the paraprofessional. “Pablo (Jr.) near her with headphones, then he grabs something off the desk and she hits him in the face with an object. I didn’t see the object. I just saw the hand, n But the director said he saw the object in his hand.
A spokesperson for Aldine ISD told ABC13 on Thursday that the videos in question could not be released due to a police investigation. The district revealed in a statement:
“Aldine ISD is aware of an incident at Raymond Elementary School in which a teacher and a paraprofessional had inappropriate physical contact with a student with special needs. Once the school was notified of this incident, CPS and Aldine ISD PD were immediately contacted and an investigation was initiated. Charges are pending review by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office against both individuals. The teacher was removed from the class and the paraprofessional resigned from the district.
This incident is deeply concerning and should not have happened. The district trains teachers and paraprofessionals in nonviolent crisis intervention skills at the beginning of each school year and will reinforce this training for the remainder of that year. Aldine ISD expects all employees to conduct themselves in a manner that demonstrates appropriate respect for others and does not condone behavior that undermines the safety and emotional well-being of any student or a member of staff. Additionally, the district will use its resources to protect its students and staff.
Aldine ISD leaders will continue to work together to find solutions that provide a safe, healthy and nurturing learning environment in our schools to support academic achievement, respectful interactions and engagement.
Reyna’s parents said they need legal representation as they continue to fight to be their son’s voice. The parents told ABC13 on Thursday that they just want the two educators held accountable.
“If it had been taken care of earlier,” Reyna said. “He wouldn’t go through all that stuff, would he?” Continuous abuse, you might say.
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