Teachers, staff at Connecticut school accused of abusing special needs children

NORWALK, Connecticut (WABC) -- Teachers and staff at a Connecticut school for young students with instructional and behavioral needs are accused of abuse.

"Push you like this and your face is against the wall. And if you're fighting back, a teacher puts a knee in your back and spreads your leg," said Nancy Michel, the alleged victim's mother.

Michel says she's beside herself and shocked by her 8-year-old daughter's claims that she was abused.

She claims teachers did this to her at High Road School in Norwalk.

"Imagine my 8-year-old locked in a room. The time she gets to school at 8:15 until about 2 p.m. She's in a room screaming, crying, urinating on herself. I've never known my daughter to urinate or defecate on herself," Michel said.

Three parents of students at the school for special needs have come forward.

One also filed a complaint with police.

At a meeting with parents, Norwalk School Board leaders said they has no prior complaints on record, and have been directing students with behavior and emotional issues to this private school for years.

"It's not right for you to send somebody's child home with any type of mark on them," said Lisa Russell, grandmother of a student.

Lisa Russell says her 11-year-old grandson was pushed to the ground and kicked then had his head slammed against a wall last week, this after 18 months of making allegations of abuse.

But she says like other parents, his mother trusted teachers and believed her son was exaggerating.

"Not having an advocate, not having a voice to be heard, they don't listen to you. Oh it's time for someone to hear what we're saying enough is enough," Russell said.

The Board of Education heard loud and clear, saying it has opened an investigation despite this being a private school. School officials said they could not comment on student matters.
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