Lawsuit claims 3-year-old with special needs was pushed and pulled by JCPS teaching assistants
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A 3-year-old boy with special needs was allegedly pushed and pulled by JCPS Head Start teaching assistants.
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the boy, who is non-verbal and has a sensory disorder, is stated to be a victim at JCPS's Tully Early Childhood Head Start Program.
“This is abysmal," said Teddy B. Gordon, the attorney for the 3-year-old boy’s family. "This should never happen to those in the most tender years.
“I would find it or declare it abusive, especially with special needs."
The boy, identified as A.H. in the lawsuit, allegedly had his head pushed repeatedly by a teaching assistant and was pulled by the arm by another assistant when trying to get the boy to move to the playground.
The 3-year-old was not injured from the November 2017 incident.
“We agree he was not hurt," Gordon said. "It was not assaultive behavior. It was not sufficient enough to even think about criminal charges in any way shape or form. It was just wrong."
Gordon added that the teaching assistants should have followed the child's Individual Education plan and got on the boy's eye level.
“And said, ‘Don't you want to go visit your friends? They're right over there in the playground. Your friends want to see you. Take my hand and come over,’” Gordon said.
The pushing and pulling was caught on camera by a neighbor and shown to A.H.’s mother. Gordon said a complaint was made to the school but never looked into.
“She took the video in and physically showed it to the principal, and the principal dismissed her out of hand and said, 'I see no problem,'” Gordon said.
In May, JCPS voted to do away with the Head Start program following dozens or allegations of abuse.
After the incident, A.H. was pulled out of the Head Start program by his mother and placed in private school. Gordon said the boy's mother is seeking $1,000 for that tuition cost.
A JCPS spokesperson said the district does not comment on pending litigation.
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