Advocate for mentally, physically disabled speaks out - CBS46 News

Advocate for mentally, physically disabled speaks out against court ruling

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Ruby Moore is the executive director of the Georgia Advocacy Group, a nonprofit organization that works with and for people with mental and/or physical disabilities. Moore said she is outraged that a Fulton County judge ruled Melanie Pickens cannot be prosecuted on child abuse charges. 

"It's hard to imagine how that could be the decision that was made about this case after what happened to the children involved," said Moore.

Pickens is accused of abusing special needs children at an Milton middle school. The judge in the case ruled that state law protects Pickens and other teachers from criminal prosecution. But Moore said Pickens' behavior was unspeakable.

"Children do not go to school expecting to be neglected, to be shoved up against the wall, to be hit and kicked and yelled at and put in seclusion for hours without supervision," said Moore.

Pickens maintains she is not guilty and her actions were not criminal. Moore disagrees.

"This is a substantial departure from acceptable practices in our field. This goes to the point of common sense, a violation of common decency," said Moore.

And Moore said she's worried about the effect the ruling will have down the road.

"It is a dangerous decision in that this is not an acceptable way to treat children. If these five children aren't safe, no children are safe," said Moore.

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