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Ohio Teacher Accused of Humiliating and Abusing Special Needs Kids in Classroom of Horror

A lawsuit claims a Ohio teacher ran a classroom of horrors where humiliation and screaming were a regular part of the day. Amanda Kitcho, who taught elementary special education during the 2010-2011 school year, is accused of a laundry list of abuses against the children, which one co-worker described as “mind-blowing and appalling.”

Children in Kitcho’s public school classroom, according to the lawsuit filed by  parents against Kitcho and the school district, were regularly subjected to having their possessions and even their lunch taken from them. The young students, all who have developmental disabilities or other conditions, were even isolated behind dividers; one child was reported duct-taped to a chair.

Much of Kitcho’s anger was directed at one child who uses a walker. Aides reported that Kitcho told the little girl that she hated her and took away the child’s walker and forced her to crawl around the classroom.

“An aide in Kitcho’s classroom reported that Kitcho stated, with respect to [the student] that, ‘She’s crawling around. I’m not putting her in that damn thing every time she’s got to move from center to center. She can crawl,’” the suit reported.

A librarian, who observed the child crawling without her adaptive aid, added the scene was pathetic and likened it to “a dying dog trying to get to the side of the road.”

Many of the children Kitcho terrorized lacked the verbal skills to report their crimes, allowing her abuses to go undetected for months by parents and other caregivers. To make matters worse, when the aides within the classroom reported children being ignored, locked in a bathroom for hours and left screaming, the administration failed to act quickly to remove Kitcho from the classroom.

Finally, the school district, which maintains the allegations against the teacher were grossly exaggerated, contacted the Warren County sheriff’s office, which investigated the claims and ultimately declined to prosecute Kitcho for her classroom behavior.

Instead, Kitcho agreed to resign from her post at the elementary school, in exchange for a severance package equal to the balance of her teaching contract, no negative notation on her personnel file, and a recommendation praising her teaching skills for future employers.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Sara LaFleur-Vetter (Illustrative Only)

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.