Video Shows Alleged Abuse of Autistic Student

Posted at: 02/12/2013 7:07 PM
By: Brianna Long

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A Century High School employee is being accused of abusing an autistic student. The alleged abuse took place between a special needs student and a paraprofessional, and was all caught on tape.     

Jade Werth says her son, Austin can't speak and has autism. When she learned what was going on with her son at school, she said it made her sick.

"To me, he is how he is. I don't look at him per se, as a person with a disability until an issue like this is brought up," said Werth.

She says she was shocked when she saw surveillance videos of, what she says, is her autistic son being abused by someone who was supposed to be caring for him.

"That phone call made me literally and physically sick. I had to pull over and get sick because it was so horrible to hear. I can't even describe to you in words how it feels as a parent," said Werth.

Back in December, Werth got a phone call saying that several Century High School students reported a situation where a school paraprofessional was being too aggressive with Austin.

ABC 6 is not identifying him because, at this point, he faces no criminal charges.

Werth says she now has a team of lawyers and advocates on her side, all fighting back, and looking for change so that things like this won't happen in the future.

"First and foremost he needs to be out of the school systems. There's no reason this guy should be employed by the schools. I don't care if he's a custodian. I don't care if he's in the lunchroom. He just doesn't need to be near children period. I think he's proven that via these videos that he is not deemed worthy enough to be around children period," said Werth.

Law enforcement, along with the Olmsted County Attorney's office, is reviewing the case to see if charges are warranted. Rochester Public School Superintendent Michael Munoz did speak to the media Tuesday, saying the man was suspended and reassigned to a different position, away from students.