BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The 9News Investigators are looking into claims of abuse at a Baton Rouge elementary school.
Parents of a 6-year-old boy with autism tell WAFB’s Scottie Hunter that bruises on his face were put there by his teacher.
“This particular teacher had over 18 years of experience with special education, but within a week and a half of my child being in her class, she gets physical,” said Shannon Plummer, the boy’s mother.
WAFB’s Scottie Hunter asked the mother how she reacted when she first saw the marks.
“I think when I saw it, I was more in shock,” Plummer replied. “As a mother, it’s like I almost went numb. You have all these emotions. You want to get to the person. You want to cry because your child is in pain telling you that his face hurts.”
They say it all happened two weeks ago when Plummer and her husband, Herbert Plummer, say Wiluana Jackson, a special education teacher at Magnolia Woods Elementary, crossed the line.
"Those type of things just cannot happen under no circumstances," said Herbert.
According to the parents, the teacher claims the 1st grader was having a meltdown because he could not use the computer. The teacher told them things got out of hand when he tried to bite her. The parents say regardless of what happened, things should have never ended with their child being hurt.
“Just because a situation gets tough don’t give you the excuse to hit someone’s child,” said Herbert. “If you’re going to conduct yourself like that with a child with a disability, then that speaks volumes of your character and school systems do not need teachers like that.”
They say at first, the teacher said their son hit his head on something during his episode, but after another adult who was present at the time of the incident reported what happened, that story changed. The parents now worry about what would have happened if the other adult was not there.
“If this was something that wasn’t reported, my son probably would have come home that day and it would have just been a normal day outside of us looking at his face and asking him, but at that point, we would have been off the premises and wouldn’t have anything to go off of,” said Shannon.
They took their son to the hospital immediately to get him checked out. That’s when they say doctors there called the police and got the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) involved. The parents filed a police report against the teacher and requested a meeting with the principal.
The 9News Investigators reached out to the East Baton Rouge Parish School System. They would not go into specifics or tell WAFB whether Jackson was fired or if she was allowed to instead resign. A check of the school’s website shows she’s still listed as staff at Magnolia Woods Elementary School, but a spokesperson was adamant the teacher is without a job, releasing the following statement.
"Human Resources investigated and this person is no longer an employee of the East Baton Rouge Parish School System.”
Because it’s unclear how the teacher and the school parted ways, the parents of the child who was allegedly slapped fear it’s only a matter of time before she ends up in someone else’s classroom, trusted with someone else’s children.
WAFB’s Scottie Hunter asked the parents if they believe the teacher should be trusted in another classroom.
“No. Absolutely not,” Shannon answered. "I think, absolutely not. I would not advise that at all.”