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Family claims special needs child mistreated at school
BEAUMONT- by Haley Bull
Child Protective Services tells KFDM News it's investigating a mother's claim that her daughter was mistreated in her Beaumont ISD special needs class. The mother claims a therapist who works with the 6-year old girl said a teacher struck the child on her hand with a yardstick. The mother also believes her daughter was verbally abused by a teacher's aide.
The 6-year old girl has a rare genetic disorder, Angelman Syndrome. It prevents Triniti Thibodeaux from speaking. She suffers from seizures and she's developmentally delayed. A therapist works with Triniti at home and at Pietzsche-MacArthur Elementary School in Beaumont. Triniti's mother, Courtney Thibodeaux, said the therapist's employer called her last week.
"I got a call on Friday, last Friday, that an aide and a teacher had made some comments in regards to her shoes being ugly and that she was ugly and that a yardstick was slammed on a desk in order to wake her up," Thibodeaux said.
The mother said she pulled her daughter out of the elementary school that day.
"She's been depressed, she's been crying, she's been clingy, she's been emotional, but again, she's non-verbal so that's her only way of expressing it," Thibodeaux said.
Triniti's mother and grandmother, June Thibodeaux, share custody. They asked for a meeting. Friday, Feb. 21st, they went to the school and met with BISD staff, the therapist, the teacher and teacher's aide. Triniti's grandmother said according to a report from the therapist, the teacher hit Triniti with a yardstick last Friday.
"The girl read her report that once Triniti didn't do what she wanted her to do she took the stick and she hit her with it and told her pick it up and do, you know, pick up the little balls that she was doing and the aide told her I don't care how much pretty they dress, you're ugly inside and out," June Thibodeaux said.
Triniti's family told KFDM News when they heard that information during Friday's meeting, they called Beaumont ISD Police.
"I bring her to school everyday. I see the fear in her eyes and I'm assuming she don't want to leave me, but she didn't want to go in that room," June Thibodeaux said.
Triniti isn't able to talk. She can't tell the family about what happens to her in school.
"Right now I'm her voice," Courtney Thibodeaux said.
Beaumont ISD Police came to the school Friday. The family said police took a report. For now, the mother and grandmother are keeping her at home.
The Beaumont School District released a statement late Friday afternoon. The district said it placed the teacher on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of its' investigation.