Report: Autistic child abused by Aiken Co. teacher's aide

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News 12 First at Five / Monday, March 4, 2013

School crimes

BURNETTOWN, S.C. (WRDW) -- Pam Sanders is still upset after an incident here at LBC Middle School last Wednesday.

"I will not tolerate this. This is unacceptable behavior," she told News 12.

Her 11-year-old grandson was allegedly abused by a teacher's aide in a classroom at the school.

"On his lower back, it was swollen. It had a bruise, and you know, he told me it was hurting him," Sanders said.

Photos from the child's father show severe bruising and discoloration on his foot and ankle. Another shot shows what appear to be bruises from fingertips on his arm.

"That is the most sickening thing that I can think of. An adult. That's what we call an adult? I call it evil," she said.

Sanders says an assistant principal told her last week that the teacher's aide has been removed and now awaits a school hearing. However, Sanders says what's most frustrating is that her grandson came home with bruises before, and she believes they were from the same aide.

But, there's a problem.

"He's autistic," the grandmother explained. "He can't speak. He had pointed this lady out to me in January, but because he couldn't speak, they said that, you know, there was no way to prove it."

Principal Brenda DeLoache legally can't say much, but she says the incident is still under active investigation. She told News 12 the school did contact Burnettown Police Department, where Chief D.P. Smith tells us he's handed the case to the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

Meanwhile, Sanders wants a change. She says she wants cameras in classrooms.

"If we can put them on the school buses, to catch the kids that are misbehaving, these kids have a right to have cameras in these classrooms to catch these adults that are mistreating them and abusing them," Sanders said.

The Aiken County Sheriff's Office report claims another teacher's aide reported the incident. Sanders says that teacher's aide is her hero, and she broke down to tears telling News 12 just how thankful she is for that person.

Right now, there's no word of any criminal charges yet, and as is normally the case, the school district is investigating, too.

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