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Mahoning County Children Services finds inconclusive evidence in investigation of alleged abuse of student



Published: Tue, February 12, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Susan Tebben

stebben@vindy.com

AUSTINTOWN

An investigation by Mahoning County Children Services of reported physical abuse of an autistic student in a classroom operated by the Mahoning County Educational Services Center has found the claim to be unsubstantiated, according to Children Services’ documentation.

On Jan. 8, the student’s mother filed a report with Austintown police after she said she received a call from Children Services about a teacher reporting a possible assault. According to the caseworker, the teacher had seen two teacher assistants from the student’s classroom, housed in the Leonard Kirtz School, “dragging him through the hall on his back by his wrist” four days earlier, the police report stated.

Investigations into the allegation were opened by the MCESC, Children Services and the Austintown Police Department.

On Feb. 7, Children Services sent MCESC Superintendent Ron Iarussi a letter notifying him that the assessment found “no occurrence of child abuse or neglect due to no observance of injuries — inconclusive evidence.”

Iarussi had maintained from the beginning that an internal investigation done by the MCESC had not found any intent to harm, but the internal investigation had been put on hold until Children Services fiished its investigation.

“We are aware that restraint and seclusion are a part of the process of educating the children and protecting the children,” Iarussi said. “This was one of those cases.”

The investigation does not completely stop with the Children Services assessment, though.

The Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Educator Conduct will receive all materials from the incident and send results to the MCESC if any disciplinary action is considered needed.

The teacher’s assistants were back at work Monday, according to Iarussi.

“As far as we’re concerned, the case is closed,” he said.


Comments

1endthismess(286 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

When are these schools going learn that not ALL these kids can manage in a normal class room environment. Stop trying to make these kids face challenges which are beyond their capabilities. If this student must be dragged around to manage bad behavior...maybe it is the school and parent who's behavior needs EXAMINED. Shame on the system for failing this child who needs more help than the school can provide. This is not supposed to be "One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest".

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2EWandF(22 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Well said "endthismess". I am an educator; and we do have many of these young people who survive the elements of a classroom very well. That being said, I once saw the effects of a disabled child actually take a special ed room apart...furniture thrown all over, books, anything in his path. The children in the room were traumatized. It took 3 adults, including a custodian, to get control. Yes, some of them do not function well. Just a terrible dilemma. The law says public educ. has to be provided. But, just a dilemma.

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3dawn421(264 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

didnt they also find inconclusive evidence of teddys abuse? get effin with it csb and do your job the way you should. i am sick and effing tired of these kids getting abused and you do NOTHING, and then something bad happens and there is an investigation but oh well, we did not find any reason to do anything. let me inform you, j=kids with autism and other disabilities do not have it in them to lie and make up stories so you need to re investigate before it too late. they are of simple minds and cant lie. i do not mean it in a bad way, i have a grandson that is disabled. INVESTIGATE. I BET IF I DID I WOULD FIND OUT THE TRUTH

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