LOVELAND, Colo. – A Colorado teacher is suing her former employer after an allegedly violent autistic student punched, kicked, slapped and spit on her, and her supervisors refused to intervene.
Thompson School District in Loveland fired special education teacher Carrie Giesler after a 13-year-old boy in her class broke her thumb and she reported the incident to police, who filed third-degree assault charges against the child, Fox 31 reports.
Giesler told the news station she was targeted by the autistic teen shortly after she started working with him in the 2014-15 school year, and reported repeated physical and verbal abuse to her superiors a dozen times in October, November and December 2014, as well as January, February and March 2015.
The student “walked up and open face, open handed slapped me, punched me in the ribs, kicked me in the back, spitting in my face,” Giesler said. “I was told that was my job and I was to get in there and take it.”
The child also drew pictures of weapons he wanted to use to kill his teacher, a threat he often repeated, Giesler said.
“The entire time with him going ‘Are you scared of me? Are you scared of me? You should be. I’m going to kill you, bitch,” Giesler said.
Fox 31 and The Daily Mail published several pictures of the student’s artwork, both on paper and scrawled on school window sill.
“I will kill you,” the window graffiti read. “Ha, ha, ha, ha.”
Ronald Jung, Giesler’s attorney, said his client was within her rights to call police when the student broke her thumb, and contends the reluctance of the district to take action “contributed or created this dangerous situation,” according to the Daily Mail.
Images posted to the news site detail numerous injuries Giesler said were inflicted by the student, including a bruised face, bruised ribs, a broken thumb, black eyes, gashes on her feet and hands.
District officials refused to discuss the teacher’s claims with the media.
“It would be inappropriate for Thompson School District to comment on a pending legal matter that involves personnel,” according to a statement cited by Fox 31.
Giesler said she filed the lawsuit, in part, to raise awareness about the lack of resources and oversight in the district’s special education program, and to prevent other teachers from suffering similar abuse in the future, Newser reports.
“There is no mandated regulation that gives teachers the proper training to deal with the violent special needs children,” she said. “It needs to stop. We need to make some changes in our school system.”
The child’s father told Fox 31 his son now attends a school specifically for autistic children and is doing fine.
News reports did not detail which school, exactly, Giesler taught at.