Livonia teacher fired amid allegations of mistreating special education students

Livonia teacher accused of mistreating special education students at Webster Elementary

By Roger Weber - Reporter

LIVONIA, Mich. - The Livonia School Board fired a tenured teacher after allegations of mistreating special education students at Webster Elementary.

The School Board fired the teacher Monday night. The accusations include hand slapping, grabbing the face, loud yelling at students and force feeding.

The 12 students, between ages 3 and 5, were enrolled in a pre-school program at Webster. A school spokeswoman, Donna McDowell, said the mistreatment of students is distressing.

Livonia police investigated the teacher, a paraprofessional and at least one other employee at Webster. The police referred the case to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office. A warrant was denied due to insufficient evidence.

One parent, who has been a persistent critic of Livonia Schools, said the behavior should have been stopped sooner.

"You failed these kids every bit as much as the teacher and the parapro handing out the abuse," said Loyd Romick.

Police were contacted in April about potential child abuse dating to last October. The school district said it investigated concerns about "the atmosphere in the classroom last fall ... but the incidents with the children didn't surface until April."

"During that investigation, other allegations came forward about the teacher's practices and behavior with students," said McDowell.

No one answered the door at the teacher's home, but according to the school district she denies the allegations.

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