Taking care of children is no easy task. But if you have put yourself in the position where that is your career, well, you better have the patience required for the task. Otherwise, it’s best you find another kind of job that does not involve kids. If you don’t, you may end up like this special education teacher who dealt with a student with autism during a tantrum by dragging him down the halls, which resulted in her getting fired and facing fourth-degree assault charges on a victim under 12.
This video of the surveillance footage is spreading like a wild-fire across the internet shocking everyone that sees it:
Of course, it’s completely natural to lose your cool once in a while, but it’s not ok to let it affect the way you act out. The virtue of patience is especially important when caring for kids with behavioral or developmental disabilities. It’s one thing to snap and demand the child to stop, but it another thing completely to physically lash out on a misbehaving student like teacher Train Abrams did to her 9-year-old autistic student.
The child’s mother, Angel Nelson, told CNN affiliate WSAZ:
“A doctor diagnosed my son with sprains in both wrists, as well as swelling and bruising in one wrist that worsened in the days following.”
The security camera footage from Wurtland Elementary School in Greenup County, Kentucky, on October 24th shows Ms. Abrams dragging the young boy through the hall by his arms. When he refuses to comply with her, she jerks his body up off the ground and continues to drag the boy on his knees for over a minute. There’s a moment in the video when young students looked on at the crying boy, unsure of how to react.
Nelson, seeking justice, shared the video and wrote on her Facebook page:
“Mrs. Abrams forcefully grabbed my son by the wrist and bent it backward while he was experiencing a meltdown (which he sometimes experiences as part of his diagnoses). I believe he has a fractured left wrist as a result of the abuse he suffered…We will never truly know what took place behind that closed-door because of my son’s speech limitations. This incident was violent enough to not only injure my child, but to also destroy his shoes.”
The 9-year-old has limited speech, meaning he cannot communicate in full sentences and has a speech delay, and he is diagnosed with autism, ADHD, and PTSD, as well as anxiety and depression. His mother admits that emotional “meltdown[s]” are a reality of his condition. Ms. Abrams knew about all of this already and yet this is how she reacted…
In the video you can hear Abrams asking the boy if he wants to walk, to which he replies “no.” From there, Abrams yells “get up” while jerking at his arms and pulling up his body as he refuses to move. The boy was first seen being dragged on his back and then after some yelling and yanking he was dragged some more on his knees.
In previous schools, if problems did arise, which was rarely, teachers would give him space to calm down before interacting with him again. When the boys parents first met the teacher at their initial IEP (Individualized Education Program) meeting upon enrolling her son at Wurtland, Abrams had been asked to handle the boy in that same manner. Abrams assured them that she had years of experience and that their son was in good hands.
Empty promises are all Abrams gave them because the damage she caused the boy is beyond what can be seen in the video. Nelson said her son has been in occupational therapy since age 3 and had made progress in his development, until the incident which caused him to regress severely in his progress. Now he needs more extensive therapy than ever before.
Even though their son had just started at the school a month prior, Nelson and her husband pulled their son out of Wurtland Elementary within 2 weeks of the incident and placed him in another school in the district. They say their son is having a far better experience at his new school. Nelson told The Post:
“She humiliated him, and as a mom that’s the most heartbreaking part, because her actions could’ve led to him being bullied had we kept him enrolled there.”
In a statement to WSAZ, Greenup County Schools Superintendent Sherry Horsley said:
“The Greenup County School District prioritizes the safety of our students. The district followed established safety protocol as soon as this situation became known. The parent was contacted immediately and the student was assessed by the school nurse and referred for outside medical evaluation. Child Protective Services was contacted and the Kentucky State Police opened an investigation. The teacher was removed from the school and a formal investigation was conducted.”