A teacher who worked at Athens ISD for nearly 20-years has resigned, amidst allegations she hit a special needs student. That student's mother spoke exclusively Tuesday with KLTV 7's Courtney Lane.
Both the nurse and the student's mother wanted to come forward, while keeping their identities protected. Because of the boy's medical conditions, he cannot speak. And that's why they said it's so important to be the voice for special need students, like Stevie.
"You send your child to school and expect them to be protected and their best interest to be at heart," said Stevie's mother.
Stevie, 16, suffers from Cerebral Palsy and Cystic Fibrosis. Despite his medical conditions, he attended public school in Athens all his life, up until the alleged incident on March 5th. According to Stevie's private nurse, who was in class that day, it started when his former teacher, Annie Dickerson, tried to turn Stevie around and make him sit in his desk.
"She turned him around and he went backwards like this, kind of threw his head back and hit her in the chest," said his nurse. "And I mean immediately she just hit him on the back of the head twice and then became apologetic to him."
Those who take care of Stevie worry not just about the emotional damage...
"He was very angry. By expression you could tell he was angry, and hurt," said his nurse.
But also the potential damage it could cause Stevie physically.
"With his medical conditions, it could've caused more harm if she had hit him harder."
"If it was your child how would you feel if somebody was hitting your child, you know a special needs child, that cannot speak and communicate to you what's happening in that classroom," said his mother.
For now, Stevie's mom decided home-schooling is their best option. She also says she still can't believe that Dickerson, who knew Stevie since he was 3 years-old, could react this way.
"I would like to say that I've forgiven her, that I am no longer really angry with her. I'm more hurt at this point than I am angry with her. Like I said, knowing her, it's so out of character from her. I've always respected her and thought she had the best interest of the kids at heart."
We have been talking to the Superintendent at Athens ISD, doctor Fred Hayes, ever since this incident was reported. This week, however, they are on spring break and Dr. Hayes could not be reached. He did tell us earlier that CPS and the state are investigating. So far, no charges are filed against Dickerson, but we will keep you updated.
Courtney Lane, Reporting firstname.lastname@example.org
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