A Michigan school district is facing heavy outrage after one of their teachers repeatedly abused a female student suffering from cerebral palsy. The lawsuit was filed against the Washtenaw Intermediate School District. According to the 25-page lawsuit, Rosa Smith, 26, suffered “repetitive instances of abuse.” Her teachers at the Michigan school allegedly taped her mouth shut, locked her in a bathroom for long periods of time, and even spilled hot coffee onto her. And these were only a selection of the abuse she allegedly endured at the hands of the Michigan special needs teachers.
Because of her condition, Smith is unable to talk. Her teachers knew she wouldn’t be able to report them because she is non-verbal. They also knew she would be unable to resist their abuse because she couldn’t move her hands and arms.
But after Smith started “making noises” one day in March 2016, her teacher, Nesa Johnson, taped Smith’s mouth shut and then photographed the abuse. The teacher then sent the photo of Smith with her mouth taped to Smith’s mother, Doreen, along with the message, “Help. She won’t keep quiet!!!”
Doreen could not believe that a teacher would abuse her special needs daughter like that. She decided to take legal action against the school. But the school district is fighting back with everything they have.
“Taping a special-needs student’s mouth shut is appalling in-and-of-itself, but was especially torturous for Rosa, who is physically unable to remove the tape, has trouble breathing and clearing her throat, and breathes out of her mouth,” the lawsuit states.
Jonathan Marko, the attorney filing the lawsuit, claimed that the school’s faculty often blamed Smith for the abuse.
“They blamed Rosa for scalding hot coffee being poured on her. They blamed Rosa for coming home with bruises on her. They even blamed Rosa for being too loud, and that’s why they had to gag and bound her,” Marko said.
In February, a school staff member slapped the disabled student across the face “in plain view” of other students and members of the faculty.
Smith’s bus drive was astonished when she witnessed the assault. Later, she notified Smith’s mother about the kind of conditions Rosa was subjected to.
The lawsuit claims that the special needs student has endured abuse at the school since 2004. Imagine going through this torture every day for years.
Doreen, Rosa’s mother, said that they reported the abuse to the school district numerous times. But the administrators at the school didn’t seem to care if her daughter was being beaten or having scalding hot coffee spilled on her. Doreen wanted justice for her abuse and mistreated daughter.
In a statement released, the school district called Rosa’s mother a liar.
“As to the subject of this lawsuit, the family did not report this, or any other complaint to the district until nearly a year after it occurred,” the school district said in a statement. “We take the health, safety, and education of all of our students very seriously.”
Do you think this special needs student will finally get justice in the courts?