4-year-old preschooler assaulted by NJ teacher in classroom, family says

Anthony Johnson Image
Wednesday, April 5, 2023
N.J. family wants answers after they say 4-year-old child assaulted by teacher
According to family, the 4-year-old with autism was allegedly assaulted by his pre-school teacher in South Orange, NJ school.

SOUTH ORANGE, New Jersey -- A teacher was fired in New Jersey on Wednesday after allegedly holding a 4-year-old student upside down by his ankles.

His mother is outraged and speaking out as she wonders why someone would do this to her son.

Daylan Wilkins is an adorable 4-year-old with a pair of sparkling brown eyes. But the cute child with autism was allegedly victimized in school.

The principal contacted the Department of Children and Family Services with a disturbing admission.

"My son was abused by a teacher," said Devena Wilkins, mother of Daylan, to Eyewitness News. "He was hung upside down by both of his ankles."

According to Wilkins, on March 28th, her 4-year-old son, who is nonverbal, was grabbed by his ankles by his pre-school teacher and hung upside down because he did not want to do school activity.

Another teacher inside the classroom alerted the principal of the school.

"He had frequent visits to the nurse's offices with some injuries," she said. "Some of them were explained, some of them were not. So, I began to worry."

Family members are understandably upset that the 4-year-old child was treated like a rag doll and not given the special attention a parent should expect.

"I was furious," said Candie Wilkins, the preschooler's grandmother. "I could not believe that a person could do something like that to a child. Especially an autistic child."

Daylan's mother says it's hard to trust anyone with her son's care but adds that the district suspended the teacher and launched an investigation.

The school district issued the following statement on the matter, stating: "Health and safety of our students are the highest priority for the South Orange and Maplewood School District. We are cooperating with the appropriate authorities and are unable to offer further comments due to the confidentiality applicable to student and personnel matters."


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