SCHOOL CLOSURE: Slyvester Middle School in the Highline Public Schools district closed today due to power outage

Teachers allegedly locked disabled child in school closet

MARYSVILLE, Wash. –A teacher and a teacher’s aide are on paid leave as the Marysville School District investigates allegations that the two locked a developmentally disabled 7-year-old girl in a closet.

The child, Kate, suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder and fetal alcohol syndrome. The girl’s legal guardian, Angi Wilson, said she had never heard of children being locked in the closet. Until the girl allegedly said it happened to her after a day at school. The guardian also alleges the girl has been hit by the teacher’s aid.

Now, she wants justice, she said.

“I didn’t know, you know, I’m telling her to listen to someone who’s being abusive,” Wilson said.

Wilson said the problems started at the school when the accused teacher’s aide began working with Katie. Wilson said no formal disciplinary plan was ever brought forth by the teacher or the teacher’s aid.

Katie“She was standing on the desk, turning the desk over, hitting staff,” explained Wilson. “I’m, like, woah. Who is this? Who are you talking about? She wouldn’t do this – not knowing at the time that she had been picked and poked. Nobody looked at the why, they were just looking at this is what she’s doing.”

Wilson says she found out about the outbursts when Katie told her counselor. After learning about the allegations that the second grader was put into a closet for a time out, the district then moved the child to her old classroom and placed the accused teacher’s aide and the teacher on paid administrative leave.

Employees at Marshall Elementary couldn’t talk about the case. The district released this statement:

“The law must be followed, a behavior plan must be in place,” said Judy Runyon with the district. “An independent investigator assigned by the district’s risk pool is currently looking into the allegation.  The two staff members have been placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation.”

Recently, Mint Valley Elementary in Longview, Wash. was on the defensive after an image surfaced showing a padded time out room that was used to hold mentally disabled children.

For Wilson, she says she’s had enough, and she wants the district to take action.

“The para-educator, she needs to be fired,” said Wilson. “She needs her credentials be removed.”

10 comments

    • Kellie

      My friend is the adoptive mother. She has taken this beautiful little girl into her home and loves this child as her own blood. Maybe you need to think long and hard about what the heck is going on. Do you have children ? it is not katie's fault that she was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome have you heard of working with the child instead of poking pinching and dragging the child and locking the child up. Wrong in every way. I would be fighting the same way as my friend.

      • Guest

        So you believe from the story that the teachers were poking and pinching the child. Really?
        Sure you have all the facts correct there yourself?

        I would hope that the adults responsible for the child (parent or guardian) had made sure they didn't just place the special needs child in the mix without notifying the district that the teachers or teachers aides (who probably aren't trained to work with special needs kids since that would be a different vocation) are going to be facing an unexpected challenge to their limited time and abilities.

        Parents and guardians continue to astound me when their poor choices and decisions are always someone else's fault. Schools are not day care centers where you get to leave your responsibilities for your child's issues at their door. Try not to expect the teachers to be able to just dive right in and deal with all your child's needs if you haven't sat down with them to explain what you expect them to do with your special needs child along with all the other children who deserve equal time from them. It's not fair to the teachers or the child.

        I hope the child doesn't end up getting used as a pawn in this issue that will not serve a useful purpose to the child.

  • motheroffour

    It is wrong to do this to any child especially one that has disabilities. I have three children with ADHD combined type and if this had ever happened to them I don't know what I would have done. As it is my oldest has PTSD because of verbally abusive behavior by teachers and students in his early educational years and the refusal by administrators and teachers to deal with the bullying done to my son. One teacher that was abusive to another one of my sons was told to take an early retirement or be fired for slamming rulers down on his book in front of him when he was reading, taking the book and throwing it across the room and belittling him in front of his peers… his issue was undiagnosed ADD which he outgrew and is now on the Honors society. This teacher should have to go through classroom management classes as well as training in special services to even go back into the classroom if they even let them back in, the para-educator needs to be fired and her certification revoked.

  • NoFaith

    My child goes to this school and is also a special needs student, last year she was in the PreK program there and was 5 and they lost her on the bus. She was an hour late home from school, and I called and they had no idea where she was or even what bus she was on. After I repeatly insisted on talked to the person in charge with out going to voice mail they tracked her down almost 30 minutes later with no reasons as to why or an apology! They said she was she would be home in 10 minutes. 30 minutes later she was dropped off and the bus driver was a sub and they didn't even tell him she didn't belong on his bus or was lost. The next morning I called the principal (she is no longer there) and set up a meeting to see how this could have happened, they should be held responsible for what bus my 5 year is going on! She also gave me a butt load of excuses saying there was a sub in her class that day. I then went to the superintendent (who also retired this year) and got no response from him after many follow ups. After that I have no faith in this school or the Marysville School District.

  • amy

    My daughter has FASD and ADHD. She was also mistreated by two teachers in elementary school. I had to fight the district to have her moved to a new school.

  • momof2cubs

    This poor girl. I would be irate if I were the parent! No one would do that to my special needs son and get away with it. I would home-school if I had to. My son doesn't go to this school, but this could happen anywhere. This is really sick!! They need some discipline!

  • Abuse bandwagon

    Looks like another parent/guardian trying to get another handout compliments of the legal system. I think Para-educators that work with ''Special needs" kids should be praised more often. These kids can be very difficult to handle. They can be violent and inflict a great deal of injury to other students and staff. Some of these kids are large and very strong. The care staff at the schools are often bit and bruised, and on occasion have been sent to local emergency rooms for injuries sustained dealing with violent actions of these kids. The liberal news media and parents of these kids are quick to jump right on the abuse band wagon if the care staff have to place them in isolation or use other means to control their behavior. I especially liked the comment that she made about the staff "putting their hands on her" give me a break. It's always someones fault other than the parent or student. Right?? Before anyone jumps on the abuse bandwagon i challenge you to spend a few days in a classroom that works with special needs children and then come back and make a comment.

    • lacrulou

      Actually most of "these kids" are very small, usually below the 10th percentile. Small size is actually part of the diagnosis.

      I don't know what the guardians have to gain. I don't see them asking for money.

      I praise special ed providers, My son (ADHD and FAS too) has some great ones and they have a hard job, but that doesn't excuse others for their bad behavior.

      I HAVE a child with FAS and I have never resorted to locking him in a closet.

  • lacrulou

    My little one also has ADHD and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. We have a special school for kids with autism, fas, adhd and other disorders that affect behavior enough to affect learning. They have a cool-down room. The difference is it's a last resort when a child is a danger or if the child requests to go there because it's quiet and is part of the IEP. Putting a 2nd grader in a closet is just out of line. It doesn't teach her anything but that she can't trust,

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