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Cuyahoga County finds abuse charges filed against a local teacher ‘unsubstantiated’ but 2 other agencies continue investigation

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio - Officials with the Cuyahoga County Family Services found abuse charges filed against a local teacher to be “unsubstantiated.”

However, a county spokesperson said the finding doesn’t mean there were no concerns but instead there was not enough evidence to keep a case open.

A spokesperson with the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District said a third-party investigation is still being conducted in order to “acquire all of the facts surrounding the allegations and how the situation was communicated.”

University Heights police also confirmed to the FOX 8 I-TEAM that two parents have filed incident reports with the department regarding the matter and an investigation is taking place.

Officials with the county and police said the alleged assault happened at the Gearity School and involved five students. Some of the alleged victims are non-verbal and have special needs.

One mother contacted the I-TEAM saying her daughter is non verbal and cannot tell her if she was abused. She says she hopes the district considers putting cameras in the classroom.

“They can’t tell us if someone is hurt,” the mother said. “She cannot speak up and tell investigators if something happened. I need to be her voice.”  The mother asked not to be identified, in effort to help protect her daughter’s identity.

The I-TEAM has also obtained documents that outline the allegations made against the teacher.

The allegations were made by two classroom aides last February.

"I have seen..., grab children by their arm, hands, and neck that results in crying. Out of concern for the children, I have decided to start documenting,” the one aide wrote.

The documents state an aide also wrote that she witnessed the teacher shoving children, pushing them up against the wall, pushing them down in their chairs and grabbing them by their face.

The teacher wrote a letter to school officials last March responding to the misconduct allegations saying she never struck a child or intentionally harmed a child in her care.

The teacher and building principal were placed on administrative leave in August. School officials say they will remain on leave while the investigations are continuing.

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