A special Education teacher, trusted to care for severely handicapped teenagers, has been accused of abusing several of her students in some of the most horrible ways imaginable.
The teacher, Lisa Weitzman, New York, allegedly used zip ties to bind students’ wrists and ankles, sprayed them with disinfectant, and worst of all encouraged one male student to masturbate in front of the class, according to five of her students’ parents.
Gerard Misk, the lawyer representing the families involved has said that the students range in age from 14 to 18 and are all severely autistic, some have Downs syndrome as well, and none of them are able to speak.
Weitzman, who teaches with the Long Beach Public Schools, now faces eight charges in all, each more horrific than the last, including; digging the heels of her stiletto shoes into the feet of a student to make him be quiet, slammed a student against a wall, performing a ‘lap dance’ on a student and even duct taping gloves on the hands of one boy so that he’d stop playing with his feces.
According to court documents, she also used the bathroom as a ‘timeout room’ and fed the children ‘prohibited food items so as to cause gastrointestinal symptoms in an effort to cause them to miss school.’
It reportedly took years for these terrible allegations to come to light because ‘the children could not inform their parents or anyone else of what was taking place’.
The claims against Weitzman date back as far as 2011 and court documents outline that at least eleven teacher’s assistants had filed complaints with the school district over the past seven years.
Shockingly though none of these the complaints were investigated, and ‘all eleven of these complaining persons were transferred out of the class’ , there is no record of Weitzman being punished after these complaints.
I am at a loss to explain why it took so long for the district to listen to these aides. Seems to me they [the school district] were doing everything they could to cover this up.
Represented by Gerard Misk, the parents of five middle school-aged children are pursuing a lawsuit against the… https://t.co/wP2PUh774Y
— Jerry Misk (@JERRYMISK) April 7, 2016
Weitzman was suspended by the school in the Autumn of 2014, but the allegations didn’t surface until recently when a retiring president of the teachers union blew the whistle in a letter to the school board president.
Debra Wabnik, the lawyer defending Weitzman said: ” [She] was a dedicated teacher who was loved by her students and their parents. She vehemently denies doing any harm to her students.”
She adds that Weitzman ‘fought to get [the students] services and rights which the [school] district failed to provide’ and maintains that the allegations against Weitzman are in retaliation for the teacher advocating for her students.
"The Long Beach schools knew about what was going on — informed by no less than 11 substitutes or temporary aides… https://t.co/2LEcKbxESu
— Jerry Misk (@JERRYMISK) April 8, 2016
As for the parents, Misk claims they all feel extremely betrayed by the teacher whom they thought very highly of, and also by the school district who allowed the alleged abuse to go on for years.
The next hearing is scheduled for April 29, where a court will decide if the parents can file a late claim. If it’s granted, Misk will take further steps towards a lawsuit against the school district.