Arrests made in West Virginia Special Education Abuse Case

Like me, many of you have been following this story since the beginning. As a mom to a little boy with nonverbal autism, it summarized my worst nightmares and greatest fears into one.

Emotional and physical abuse of the most vulnerable population.

Thankfully, arrests have been made.

Suspecting her 6-year-old daughter with severe nonverbal autism was being abused at school, Amber Pack, a West Virginia mother hid a recording device in her daughter’s hair, court documents say.

On Friday, the girl’s former teacher and two former aides were arrested, the state’s attorney general said. Christina Lester, the former teacher, and June Yurish and Kristin Douty, former aides, were charged with misdemeanor failure to report abuse or neglect, according to a press release from West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Amber Pack was concerned when her daughter Adri came home with bruises from Berkeley Heights Elementary in October. The marks appeared to be pressure bruises from tight grips, said Ben Salango, an attorney for the Pack family.

Like my son, and so many of our children, Adri is nonverbal, but she would cry getting on the bus and didn’t want to leave the house. It was clear she didn’t want to go to school, the attorney said.

So Pack did what any parent would be compelled to do. She hid a recording device in her daughter’s hair.

On the 8-hour recording, Pack heard Lester, Yurish and Douty allegedly threatening Adri and her classmates, saying they would knock their teeth out or withhold food.

Pack called police, who met with the school principal the next week and played the audio. When the teachers were questioned about the recording, they allegedly said they were not speaking to the children but to one another.

“To make matters worse, the deputy superintendent called the principal to tell Pack to destroy the file,” Salango alleges. “It’s in writing.”

Prosecutors initially failed to press charges, so in February, Pack turned to social media and shared the recording on her Facebook page, where it garnered 10 million views within 24 hours.

“These arrests send a strong message — that child abuse will not be tolerated and must be reported,” Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a statement. “We must continue working to ensure vulnerable children are protected, especially at school.”

If you haven’t followed this story from the beginning like I have, here are a few transcripts of the recordings the recordings.

When I spoke with Amber personally after, she told me how physically ill she felt when she listened to these recordings. I can’t even imagine.

This is not easy to read….

Instructor #1: “This one I could punch her right in her face.”

A different instructor in the same class.

Instructor #2: “You got to go pee-pee? Pee-pee? Or do you not have to go pee-pee and you just want to go **** *** in a chair?”

This one makes me violently ill:

Instructor #1: “Growl at me. I dare you and you won’t get one. Go ahead. There is nothing says I have to give you a snack. Nothing.”

Instructor #2: “Looks like you get nothing Owen. Ha ha. Sorry buddy.’

Monsters. These people are absolute monsters. The lowest of low. Demoralizing disabled, vulnerable children.

We need justice for Adri.

Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

Interested in writing for Finding Cooper’s Voice? LEARN MORE

360 likes
Prev post: My Boyfriend, My Love, is AutisticNext post: I Saw You Today

Related posts

Join Coop’s Troop
Join Coop’s Troop

Become a Supporter of Finding Cooper's Voice and join our online community, Coop's Troop. Membership includes Facebook Lives with our family, giveaways and more.
JOIN NOW

About Me
About Me

Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

READ MORE

Shop our Faves
Shop our Faves
FindingCoopersVoice
Most Popular
Sign up for Finding Cooper's Voice
* = required field

powered by MailChimp!