In lawsuit, parents charge teacher abused handicapped kids

Jan. 23, 2014 at 5:26 PM

CINCINNATI, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- A group of parents of children with multiple handicaps have sued an Ohio school district, charging they were abused by a teacher.

In their complaint, filed Wednesday in federal court in Cincinnati, the parents of five children say teacher Amanda Kitcho screamed at the children, deliberately provoked them into bad behavior, denied them snacks and even took food from their lunches. She allegedly forced one girl, identified only as H.M., to crawl to the bathroom and around the classroom without her walker.

"Nevertheless, as described in this complaint, the Kings Local School District and its employees and officials unlawfully and injuriously abused and neglected the children, failed to notify proper authorities, and then covered up their unlawful conduct," the lawsuit says.

In addition to the district, in Kings Mills in southwest Ohio, and Kitcho, the principals of Columbia Elementary School, Jerry Gasper and Shelley Detmer-Bogaert, are named as defendants.

The parents charge the district ignored two teachers' aides and a librarian who reported Kitcho's behavior, only taking action because they feared what was going on might reach the news media. After the Warren County sheriff's child abuse unit investigated and decided against pressing charges, the district allowed Kitcho to resign, guaranteeing that nothing negative would appear in her file and she would receive a letter of recommendation.

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