APS parapro caught on camera allegedly abusing disabled kids resigns
Atlanta Public Schools paraprofessional Kesha Smith turned in her resignation before she faced a disciplinary review board.
A spokeswoman for APS said Smith's resignation is effective immediately.
Smith is one of two paraprofessionals allegedly caught on camera physically abusing two special needs children in their classroom at Harper-Archer Middle School.
APS identified the other one as Alger Coleman, III. He was fired after police arrested and charged him with cruelty to children.
Smith has not been charged. APD is still investigating the incident.
Elba Ortiz's son is one of seven disabled children in that classroom.
"There's no way for our kids to say, 'Help me, someone's hurting me, someone's hurting my classmates,'" said Ortiz. "It's ridiculous that we were not notified that something was going on and an investigation was not launched immediately. It's unacceptable!"
Ortiz said she found out about the alleged abuse from news reports last week.
"A friend of mine called and said, 'Put on the news I think that's your son's school.' That's how I first heard about it," said Ortiz.
On Monday, Ortiz and parents of two other children in that class met with Superintendent Erroll Davis.
Christopher Drayton was one of them.
"He brought us in to apologize. He said he was unaware that we were unaware about what happened," said Drayton. "Like many of the parents, we found out when it was broadcast on the news as well."
Ortiz said one of the parents at the meeting didn't know why they were called to meet with Davis.
"I'm starting to talk to her as if she already knows, she knew nothing," said Ortiz. "When Davis learned that the parent didn't know, he was completely shocked."
APS issued this statement:
"APS is continuing to review this serious matter. We have identified and taken swift, appropriate action against some employees involved. Further, we are identifying other employees who will be held accountable for the completely unacceptable treatment of children, and we also will identify what internal processes must be addressed in order to ensure this does not happen to our children again."
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