A paraprofessional from Stone Mountain Middle School has resigned and a teacher could be fired for their involvement in allegedly repeatedly slamming a broomstick near a nonverbal child with autism.
John Malone said his son Wesley, 14, was terrorized by the educators in May while an observer was monitoring the class. That observer reported the abuse to her employer who passed the information on to the school district.
But Malone told CBS Atlanta's Jeff Chirico that he believes the district didn't handle the allegations appropriately because it failed to report them to police for a month.
"I'm irate about it because not only is my son not receiving a fair shake, all the other kids with special needs won't get a fair shake either," said Malone.
Malone's attorney, Chris Vance, said district officials must immediately contact police when they learn of abuse so a criminal investigation can be launched.
Since district officials didn't report the abuse to law enforcement, Malone filed a report with the DeKalb County School Police on June 26, nearly a month after the district learned of the incident.
The investigating officer later issued what Malone called a vague and inaccurate incident report. He fears school police investigators aren't taking the allegations seriously.
"I think there's been a complete coverup to protect the DeKalb County School system," said Malone.
"Arrests should have already been made. I don't understand why arrests have not been made," said Vance. "Why is it a woman can take a broomstick to a child, terrorize that child in front of a third person and she be walking around and not be arrested" asked Vance.
Jeff Dickerson, spokesman for the DeKalb County School District, said the district has conducted its own investigation and handled everything appropriately. He pointed out that the district has disciplined both educators involved and reported the allegations to the Department of Family and Children Services.
Dickerson also said the district reported the allegations to the DeKalb County District Attorney the day after Malone reported it to police. Dickerson said that was merely a coincidence.
A spokesperson for the DeKalb County District Attorney told Chirico that a decision on any criminal charges will not be made until the school police complete the investigation.
The DeKalb County School District has not responded to Chirico's inquiries about the status of the investigation.
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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