OLATHE, KS (KCTV) – An Olathe mother says her son has been bullied for years, and just when she thought things were getting better, a staff member attacked him, physically.

The staffer was a paraprofessional at Pioneer Trail Middle School, which is someone who assists teachers, mostly involving students with special needs. She’s no longer at Pioneer Trail Middle School and now police are investigating.

“I want to be able to go to work and know that he’s safe at school,” said the mother of the child.

The mother didn’t want her face shown for her son’s sake. He’s 13 and texts her often about bullying.

In September, her son texted her saying, “I hate my life. All people do is talk about me.”

Another text from October said, “These two girls were pushing me and one of them made me hit my head.”

The mother says that got better two weeks ago when her son got a new resource teacher, someone who helps with special needs education plans. But then Tuesday, she was called out to meet with police, who later classified what happened to her son as battery.

Her son gave a statement, explaining the paraprofessional moved his desk out of the classroom and into the hall because he was knocking on the desk.

He does it often, his mom says, to handle his PTSD, which she says started when he found his father killed by suicide. He said that knocking on his desk makes him feel, “relieved.”

“I don’t know, just makes me feel better about myself,” he said.

The school let the mom watch surveillance of her son continuing to make the noise in the hall, then the paraprofessional coming out to stop him. She said the woman began by grabbing her son’s hands, then eventually, “She body slammed him onto the ground. And at that point, his shoes even fell off. It was so hard.”

She asked for a copy of the video, as did KCTV5 News, and got an email saying they’ll release it only with a court order or subpoena. It’s a response in keeping with what KCTV5 News found on the laws about school surveillance.

The boy’s mom said school and district leaders handled Tuesday’s situation well, but she’d like to see better training on how to handle students with behavioral health challenges.

“Sometimes the way they handle it is more of isolation, versus, you know, why don’t we teach our teachers how to talk to them? You know, lets encourage and motivate students, instead of making them feel like they’re an outsider or they’re different from others,” said the child’s mother.

That paraprofessional has not been arrested or charged with a crime yet. The school district says she had been working at Pioneer Trail Middle School for 12 years. The child’s mother says the paraprofessional was fired on the spot. The district will only say she’s no longer employed by them.

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(2) comments

ironclad

I graduated from PT in May 2016. I'm shocked to hear about bullying there. I don't remember witnessing any.

Wolfie78

As an autistic adult, I cannot express how very important and valuable stimming is to our mental health. If you've repeatedly clicked a pen, twiddled your thumbs or played with your hair when you're bored or anxious, you have stimmed. Neurotypical people stim occasionally, but those of us who are neurodiverse do it as a way of life. It helps us process our emotions in a healthy way.

One thing you NEVER do is interrupt someone who is stimming. If someone is stimming, it means they're trying to process difficult emotions that they can't express. Interrupting this behavior also interrupts that person from burning off the emotion they're experiencing.

Stimming is literally something that is vital to psychological well-being. And that para should have known that. Kids and adults with turrets aren't ostracized for their tics, why are adults and children who stim a lot subjected to being singled out and isolated? Yes, some destructive or especially obnoxious stims can be replaced with more productive, less distracting ones through the process of redirecting to the preferred behavior ... But that IS NOT the same as simply stopping the person from stimming. It is changing the stim.

The para in question was NOT trying to redirect the stim, she was trying to STOP it and that's something you NEVER should do.

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