Alabama lawsuit alleges abuse in school

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A second-grade teacher in Birmingham, Alabama allegedly beat a nine-year-old boy who receives special education services with a belt, according to a lawsuit filed by the boy’s mother Dec. 7.

As part of the boy’s special education requirements, teachers are required to orally administer the boy instructions to exams. On Nov. 6, 2009, the second-grade teacher decided instead to hand the boy a written test. The decision, which would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, resulted in the boy missing six questions on the test.

“Upon making this determination, (the teacher) called (the boy) to the front of the class, removed her belt, announced that she would beat him for each question he answered incorrectly and then struck (the boy) about his body six times, breaking his skin with the metal buckle,” according to the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

The lawsuit accuses the teacher of assault and battery. The mother also sued the Birmingham Board of Education for failure to “train, instruct and/or supervise” the teacher in “proper procedures for instructing children and/or inflicting corporal punishment.”

The boy, who transferred to a different class following the incident, suffered “economic losses, mental anguish, pain and other non-pecuniary losses,” according to the lawsuit.