A Folsom Cordova Unified School District special education teacher that was facing allegations of abusing a non-verbal autistic student on campus has since been released from employment with the district.
Back in September, a special education instructor with the FCUSD put on paid leave while an investigation was launched following reports of misconduct that alleged she restrained and slapped a five-year-old special needs student.
While the teacher remains unnamed by the district, FCUSD Chief Communications & Community Engagement Officer Angela Griffin Ankheli confirmed with Folsom Times on Tuesday that the teacher is no longer employed by the district. At this time, FCUSD officials are not releasing any additional information on the investigation, its findings or the separation of employment.
The alleged incident occurred at Williamson Elementary School in Rancho Cordova. Ebone McNeal and Willie Graham, pulled their 5-year old son, who is non-verbal autistic, out of the school after a series of alleged incidents and a concern for his safety, the final incident prior to removing him from the district was a report that he was restrained and slapped by the instructor while in the classroom.
According to McNeal and Graham, they first became concerned in August when their son was reportedly sent to daycare with a soaked diaper. Just a short time later they said they received a call from the school reporting their son had left the school grounds unnoticed. He was reportedly located by a passerby and returned to the school.
On Sept. 14, McNeal said they were alerted of the restraint and slapping incident that reportedly took place in the classroom on Sept. 11. The incident was allegedly reported by a teacher’s aired on Sept. 13. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office then launched an investigation as the teachers was placed on administrative leave at the time.
While the district has not released a full statement beyond confirming the teacher is no longer employed with them on Wednesday, FCUSD previously issued a statement detailing their concerns on the matter when the investigation began.
“FCUSD is first and foremost committed to student safety and is taking this matter seriously. The District desires to create avenues for ongoing communication with staff and the community on all matters of student safety. We are also committed to providing truthful information and being transparent to the extent allowable under the law,” read the statement.
The school district added at the time that the teacher was removed from the classroom on September 13. On Sept. 14 the Assistant Superintendent of Special Education notified the student’s family and then met with them in person, along with the school’s Administrator and student’s IEP team to formulate a plan for the student’s classroom placement and additional supports to address their well-being.
“We place a high level of importance on our systems for reporting concerns which includes staff training and encourage our community to let us know if they have witnessed a concern. Reports of concerns can be made directly to a supervisor or online through the WeTip anonymous reporting tool which is posted on all school websites.” the statement continued.
“If there are improvements we can make, we want to be aware so we can provide excellent and safe learning spaces for all of our students. As we examine the steps that have led to this incident, we are also looking at ways we can strengthen our processes and training for staff.”
While the teacher’s employment has now been separtarated the investigation continues, with many details being withheld during so.