Warren teachers accused of abusing special needs students

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Two middle school teachers are accused of abusive practices in a special needs classroom.

Some parents claim their children were being pinched if they acted up. One mother is devastated. Not only does she claim her vulnerable son was being physically abused by his teachers, but she says it had been going on for weeks.
"It is really hard. A lot of our communicating is me knowing what's normal, what's not normal, body language," Christina Liebman said.

Just days into this school year, Christina Liebman knew something wasn't right with her 6th grade son who is non-verbal, autistic and has Down syndrome.

She says her 11-year-old never had any problems in class until he started at Carleton Middle School in the Warren Consolidated School District.

"He came home with marks all over the back of his neck, his arms and his back," she said. "As a mother (I was) heartbroken. He is non-verbal; he can't defend himself against them; he can't come home and say, 'Mom this inappropriate thing happened to me.'"

Concerned, Liebman called his teachers, who she says blamed the marks on her son's behavior.

"They would say, we can't account for every bump and scrape the kids have, these kids play rough."

For weeks, Liebman wondered why her son was acting differently and constantly coming home with red marks all over his back neck and arms.

And then Monday morning she received a shocking phone call from the school's principal.

"The principal called me to let me know the teachers have been removed from the classroom and today was their first day not teaching anymore," she said. "They were under investigation for pinching students when they are not standing up or basically any behavior."

Liebman says she learned she wasn't the only parent who had complained, but no one looked into those allegations until someone who witnessed the abusive acts finally alerted the administration, which confirmed an investigation is underway.

"It made me angry. This is grown adult women, full-strength women preying on these children facing enough as it is," she said.

Right now the district isn't providing any additional details. However, Christina says she was informed by the principal that, along with the district, Child Protective Services and Warren police are investigating.

She is demanding justice and wants those teachers to be banned from being around children, especially with special needs.