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Former YISD parent says her child was mistreated in class; police investigation underway

Tierra Del Sol Elementary School

The mother of two Tierra Del Sol Elementary School students says the principal had to notify her of how her 3-year-old son with special needs was being treated in the classroom.

Valerie Nichols said the school notified her almost two weeks ago that her son's special education teacher put a pull-up diaper on her son, stood him in front of the class and told his classmates to call him a little girl. This was following an accident the 3-year-old had.

“He did not deserve that,” Nichols said.

Her sons will no longer be attending school in the Ysleta Independent School District. “I have already taken my son out of YISD and we are transitioning to Socorro Independent School District because of this situation,” Nichols said.

She said, on top of degrading him in front of the entire classroom, the teacher also spanked him.

“My youngest son was even able to describe the color of the shoe she hit him with,” Nichols says.

KFOX14 contacted Yselta Independent School District and was given this statement:

As of January 22, 2019, Ms. Loreal Wood is no longer an employee of the Ysleta Independent School District. Since personnel matters are confidential, it is the practice of the Ysleta Independent School District not to comment on them.

Since the classroom did have special needs students, there should be cameras inside. KFOX14 reached out to YISD for this footage. They responded with this statement:

Texas Education Code section 29.022 states school districts to conduct video and audio surveillance in certain special education classrooms or settings upon request.

KFOX14 reached out to YISD officials asking for footage of the alleged incident and were told:

Any video footage of students at our schools are considered part of the student’s record, and are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Therefore, due to federal law, we are unable to release any video footage.

The incident has also been reported to Child Protective Services and the El Paso Police Department. The Police Department gave KFOX14 this statement: “The El Paso Police Department’s Crimes Against Children unit is conducting an investigation into allegations of Injury to a Child by a YISD educator reported to have occurred on January 18 at Tierra Del Sol Elementary School.”

When Nichols found out about the incident, she posted online, asking if other parents had issues with this teacher. Two other parents came forward and had very similar concerns. One parent said her child had seen the teacher misbehave.

Nichols said that, when investigators began asking her oldest son questions about this teacher, he said he had seen her hit children in the past. “Along with that, he also told me the teacher told him, 'When mommy and daddy start asking funny questions, we have to confuse them,'” Nichols said.

Nichols, who is a teacher in SISD, said she would never treat a student this way. “Always, in my heart, I had always believed to treat my students with respect and dignity and that somebody else out there will treat my sons the same way and, now that it hasn’t, it has completely torn my vision of how teachers treat my children,” Nichols said.

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