Richmond Co. school investigating claim of child abuse

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, Jan. 28, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The Richmond County School System is investigating a case of possible child abuse involving a disabled student. It happened at Sue Reynolds Elementary back in December.

The parents say their child is still suffering from the aftereffects a month later.

"One of them had my hands, while the other had my feet and began to swing me. I was saying, 'Let me go,'" said 11-year-old Noah Kelly.

Noah is talking about two of his teachers at Sue Reynolds Elementary. He says they swung him back and forth. Once he was placed in the prone position, it left a bruise.

"My son only weighs 60 to 70 pounds and to have someone sit on your child's back," said mother Saundra Kelly.

It's illegal to use that on a student in Georgia schools, and the school is supposed to notify a parent immediately once their child has been restrained.

"Now is the time when the school system has to step up and help the parents along," said President of the Richmond County PTA Monique Braswell.

The parents say that didn't happen.

"If I allow these things to carry on and not come to his rescue, then he will look at me as his father differently," said Matt Kelly Sr.

Noah has Asperger's syndrome, which affects his social interaction. His parents say Noah has missed several days from school since the incident.

"We need to expose these bad teachers and administrators who don't do their job," said Mr. Kelly.

"Noah doesn't sleep at night. He's having to start new meds. It's a lot that has been taken from Noah," said Mrs. Kelly.

As they try to help Noah through this, they have a message for other parents.

"I just want parents to know they should be active and get involved in their kid's life. We have to be advocates for our children because no one else will," said Mr. Kelly.

News release from the Richmond County Board of Education:
"Several media outlets have inquired about an incident that occurred on or about Dec. 11, 2012, at Sue Reynolds Elementary School, in which a special education teacher and a speech language pathologist were alleged to have improperly restrained a special education student.

Upon learning of these allegations, the principal immediately contacted the Central Office to request that an inquiry be conducted into the actions of the teachers. An inquiry is being conducted and a report will be prepared and shared with the superintendent and his staff.

O.C.G.A. 50-18-72 (8) states in part that 'records consisting of material obtained in investigations related to the suspension, firing or investigation of complaints against public officers or employees may not be released until 10 days after the same has been presented to the agency or an officer for action or the investigation is otherwise concluded or terminated.'

Therefore, as no final disposition has been issued, there is no information to be released at this time."

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