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Former LCISD teacher under investigation after family claims she mistreated son with special needs

The family claims the teacher verbally and physically abused their son who is not able to communicate like most people.

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — A family in Fort Bend County is outraged saying their son with special needs was assaulted in class by a teacher at George Ranch High School.

The family has been posting videos taken at the school. They were able to get the videos by filling an open records request.

They son their son is not able to communicate like most people and say the teacher was mistreating him verbally and physically.

In the video, the Lamar Consolidated ISD teacher can be seen turning over chairs and tables, grabbing the student's arm and telling him to pick them up.

The family claims they were not notified of all this happening in the school until weeks later.

The videos got the attention of Houston rapper and activist Trae the Truth.

“It was very disturbing, for multiple reasons, because I have a special needs son, so it hit me more than it would hit an average person.”

LCISD says the teacher no longer works for the district. 

In a statement, the district said the teacher was reported to the police and is currently under investigation by the Texas Education Agency.

Meanwhile, the student’s family wants to draw more attention to better background checks for teachers and better training.

The attorney for the teacher, Susan Soto, issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon. KHOU is choosing to omit the teacher's name because she has not been charged with a crime.

A video of [a] former Lamar Consolidated ISD [teacher's] classroom caught the media’s attention this week. The school district previously responded to the incident captured on the video.

According to school law attorney Susan Soto, who represents [the teacher], allegations that the teacher was abusive to the student are untrue.

Soto says that while the video may be disturbing to some, the techniques that [the teacher] employed are based on the student’s individual needs and on a specific discipline management theory.

Over the course of the school year, [the teacher] attempted a variety of discipline management strategies with the student in order to minimize a pattern of dangerous behavior. The video depicts an Applied Behavior Analysis strategy that focuses on improving specific behaviors. The strategy, called Response Cost, decreases undesired behaviors by assigning a penalty or cost to them. When a student learns to acquire individual attention by throwing items and overturning furniture in a classroom, a teacher may try to decrease throwing episodes by displacing additional items on the floor for the student to collect. The additional clean-up the student must perform is the penalty or cost for the inappropriate behavior.

The teacher’s behavior was intended to correct a problem, but it has been taken out of context and sensationalized. Only the full video is a fair representation of what occurred in the classroom that day, and neither the student’s parents nor their lawyer have provided the public with full information. The student had a good relationship with [the teacher] and, in fact, hugs [the teacher] with affection in a portion of the video that was withheld.

Soto said, “I am grateful that the public has expressed concern about the student. The civility of our society is gauged by the degree to which we speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. However, accurate and complete information, as well as an understanding of behavior management are relevant and necessary here, in order to accurately assess what happened on the day in question. If the community is going to form an opinion about [the teacher] based on a few seconds of carefully-selected classroom video meant to stir emotions and elicit social media posts, then it is only right to acknowledge that there is more to the story.”

Soto is a former public school teacher and principal and represents Texas teachers, students, and their parents in school law matters across the state. She said that while cameras are generally placed in special education classrooms to protect students, they often exonerate teachers who have done nothing wrong. “Texas has thousands of great teachers who do the best they can for students every day. When a parent makes accusations against a teacher, video evidence can be very useful to gain information and eventually clear the teacher’s name,” Soto said.