Parent Alleges Teacher's Aide Broke Elbow of Student With Disabilities
On June 26, Christine Dupaquier got a call from her son Evan’s school saying he had been injured, according to ABC7. The 12-year-old, who was enrolled in summer special education classes at Dorothy Gibson County High School in Ontario, California, had broken his elbow. Evan told his mom allegedly a teacher’s aide’s actions caused his injuries.
Dupaquier told ABC7 on Tuesday her son had been involved in a fight with another student during the school day a week earlier. Dupaquier was called to pick up Evan where the school nurse advised her to take him to the emergency room for X-rays on his elbow.
“Evan was in the back with the principal and the nurse came out and stated that he was injured. And she felt he would need an X-ray done at the ER,” Dupaquier said. “[The doctor] said this is a bad break and it was from one side of the elbow to the complete other side of the elbow — straight across.”
Evan told his mom the injuries didn’t come from the fight with another student, but from the actions of a teacher’s aide immediately following the altercation. Dupaquier said Evan told her as he was backing away from the other student, a teacher’s aide came from behind and wrestled Evan to the ground.
“The staff member came from behind, didn’t identify himself or anything, just put his arm behind his back, twisted it and took him to the ground with his full body weight,” Dupaquier said. “The staff member put his elbow on Evan’s face with pressure forcing him into saying sorry. He asked him to say sorry four times as Evan was crying for help.”
Dupaquier told ABC7 the school didn’t mention to her Evan’s injuries may have been caused by a school employee. While the school hasn’t made a public statement, a San Bernardino County Office of Education spokesperson told ABC7 the district is investigating the incident and cooperating with an investigation by the Ontario Police Department.
In response, Dupaquier hired a personal injury attorney to help investigate what happened, adding she doesn’t want her son around this school employee again. “As a parent, I would want to know if this person was around my child,” she told ABC7.
Evan needed surgery and three pins to repair the damage to his elbow at the hospital. He also had an abrasion on his face. Dupaquier shared Evan is now at home recovering, but disappointed his injuries will prevent him from participating in many summer activities.
“He is realizing he is not going to be able to do a lot this summer and I think that is really hard on him,” Dupaquier said.
The Mighty has reached out to Christine Dupaquier and the San Bernardino County Office of Education for comment and has yet to hear back.
Header image via ABC7 screenshot