Teacher loses job after being filmed dragging 4-year-old boy with autism off playscape

A teacher dragged a young boy by the arms from a playscape. (Photo: Miguel Sanz/Getty Images)
A teacher dragged a young boy by the arms from a playscape. (Photo: Miguel Sanz/Getty Images)

A Texas teacher has lost her job after school security camera footage showed her physically dragging a young boy with autism off a playscape.

As NBC DFW 5 reports, the incident occurred last Thursday at Hartman Elementary in Wylie, Texas. Lanetta Moore, mother of 4-year-old Jonathan, said she received a note explaining that Jonathan had fled from the teacher, but the scratches on his body raised suspicions.

“The day of the incident the teacher had sent me a note home,” Moore told the news station. “The note had basically said that Jonathan had ran away from her on the playground. That was it.”

Video footage, however, shows the unidentified teacher trying to lure Jonathan off the playscape before eventually dragging the boy across the playground by his arms.

“You see him drop the ground and he doesn’t move,” an emotional Moore noted. “Then you see a bunch of teachers crowd around him and you don’t know what’s happening. All you see is him just lying there.

“I think that’s the biggest setback to me as a parent. You see this happen as an adult, nobody stepped in to say, ‘Hey don’t do this. You’re hurting him,’” she added.

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Moore was alerted to the truth after another teacher at the school reported the incident. The elementary school has since confirmed that the teacher who dragged Jonathan is no longer with the school, and the school district notified local police and state child welfare agencies.

“The district does not condone discipline or physical contact that may result in injury to a child,” a Wylie ISD spokesperson said in a statement. “Wylie ISD took immediate action as soon as we were made aware of the incident. We notified the proper authorities and conducted our own investigation. The teacher is no longer working in Wylie ISD.”

For Moore, the incident highlights the importance of training educators and caregivers to be sensitive to children with special needs.

“I don’t want this to happen to someone else’s child,” she said. “That’s a big thing and my huge question is, did it happen before?”

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