The family of a Georgia teen with autism has filed a suit against a Stone Mountain Middle School aide and teacher for allegedly terrorizing him with a broomstick in the classroom, according to WSB-TV. Both parties are facing possible criminal charges for their alleged acts.
Wesley Malone, who is nonverbal, had been displaying aggressive behavior that concerned his father, John Malone. Malone also noticed that his son had been coming home from school with scratches and bumps on his head, which to him were telltale signs that something very wrong was happening at school.
When Malone complained to his son’s school, they agreed to bring in a consultant who would observe Wesley in his classroom setting. The consultant reportedly witnessed Wesley being disciplined by his paraprofessional aide with the use of a thick handled broomstick, which was reportedly banged on a table, floor and poked at the child. According to Malone’s attorney, Chris Vance, “The parapro charges at Wesley and say to (the teacher), ‘Give me my broomstick,’” the report said. “She’s slapping the broomstick on the table, she’s slapping it on the floor, she’s slapping it at him, she’s poking it at him,” Vance alleges.
Wesley’s reacted to the broomstick with a yelped and covered his head, according to the report. The paraprofessional said, “This is what we have to do. We have to instill fear in him.”
“If they had the audacity to use a broom handle in front of a third-party, what are they doing when someone isn’t there?,” the boy’s father laments.
According to an unnamed DeKalb County representative, Wesley’s paraprofessional resigned last week. School district administrators are also reportedly firing the teacher who is in charge of Wesley’s classroom. The District Attorney’s office also confirmed to WSB-TV that they had received the case last Thursday and are investigating the allegations.
The Malone family wonders why it took one month for the school district to act on the allegations of his son’s alleged classroom mistreatment.
Meanwhile, a school district representative told WSB-TV, “We take this issue very seriously. We care deeply for the safety and well-being of our children, and any action that might compromise them will absolutely not be tolerated.”