I got an e-mail today from a Mom who'd like to join our ranks. I accidentally deleted her e-mail, so I'll paraphrase this as best I can; She's been reading our blog a little bit and has really loved it. It's given her a lot of comfort and strength to know that someone somewhere understands. She has a unique and interesting story that I think you'll all want to hear- it could happen to any one of us! and what a nightmare! A version of it is posted here below. She is still trying get some sort of action taken and would love our support in her efforts. If you have comments for her you can leave them on this post. As I said, she is reading our blog, and I believe she's planning to join us soon.
Parents In Utah School Outraged Over Kids' Safety In School
Two parents found out weeks after the incident that their children were being abused emotionally and potentially physically by another student in their special needs class. The parents, told only of the incident by a classroom aide are furious that the teachers and school officials failed to tell them what actually had happened to their children while in the care of teachers. The events occurred at Plain City Elementary in Utah.
The mothers, Debbie Veldhuizen and Jamie Doak, have filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights and have sent notice to the Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission and the Weber district. Nothing has been done. A lawsuit was dismissed for not being properly filed and they have since stopped pursuing it. They have moved their children out of the school.
But, What Happened?
According to a teacher's aide named Holly Wilson, a third child, not identified, touched Veldhuizen's clothed groin during school, causing him to have an accident. In addition, the same child harassed her son in the bathroom, screaming profanities at the child and threatening to kill him. The eight-year-old boy was so frightened; he was afraid to use the restroom and began having accidents. The other boy, Tucker Doak, does not speak and is about the size of a toddler. The same student choked Tucker and later tried to suffocate him.
The mothers believe that the school officials should have done more for their sons, specifically alerting them of what was happening. However, the school authorities said they did not alert outside authorities because they have to be careful doing so when children act out against other children. They work as a team to handle the situation and ensure it does not happen again. The mothers do not blame the offending child because he too is a special needs child. They do blame the school for the lack of notification and the lack of providing the proper environment.
Throughout the school year, there were four aides. Moreover, for six months of the year, there was no licensed teacher in the classroom due to budget shortfalls.