By ROBERT CONNELLY
A former Fitch High School aide was in court Monday on one charge of child endangerment, accused of assaulting a special-needs student during the school year.
Lisa Schriner, 58, of DeHoff Drive, had pleaded not guilty April 30 during her arraignment, and her trial is set to begin Aug. 20 before Judge David D’Apolito of Mahoning County area court.
During her pretrial hearing Monday, she rejected a plea deal and opted for trial. Prosecutor Mike McBride said there will be no jury in the case.
Schriner had posted $2,500 cash or surety bond April 29.
The complaint says Schriner “created a substantial risk to the health or safety of [victim name redacted].”
According to a police report, the mother of a 15-year old autistic student at Fitch found her son “visibly upset and shaken” at the bus stop April 9. The bus driver and bus aide told the parent that a classroom aide “roughed up” the victim, and they both saw the victim being yelled at and thrown into a brick wall by the aide.
The report did not identify Schriner, but police later charged her.
The report alleges that the student went to the ground after being thrown at the brick wall, and the aide continued to yell at the student while he was on the ground.
The aide eventually grabbed the student from underneath his jaw to raise his head up and the student head-butted the aide, according to the bus driver and bus aide.
Capt. Brian Kloss of the Austintown Police Department said the original charges were filed against Schriner on April 17 after detectives met with McBride the day before. Schriner was arrested April 28 and first appeared in court April 30.
Austintown School District officials said Schriner was employed through the Mahoning County Educational Service Center. Superintendent Ron Iarussi said Schriner was contracted through a temporary-employment agency. He said, “The day after the incident, she never came back to work. ... There’s no further action to be taken against her as far as employment is concerned.”
Iarussi said if a district requires a special-education aide, MCESC provides the aides, and they have various ones throughout the county.
He said Fitch Principal Chris Berni conducted the investigation, and MCESC took statements and forwarded them to the Ohio Department of Education. Berni said the school’s investigation was about a week long and included interviews with the bus driver, bus aide, Schriner and members of the transportation department.
He said all the information that was collected in the investigation was given to Austintown police, and “they in turn used it in their investigation,” Berni said.