LORAIN, Ohio — Students at Southview Middle School in the Lorain City School District are upset after witnessing a classroom aide’s alleged mistreatment of a paraplegic student.
“The student fell out of his wheelchair. And the aide left him right there,” said Keith Riggs, seventh grader.
Riggs said it happened to his friend last Thursday in his special ed class.
“I got mad and went to help and the aide blocked me. He told me not to help him because he needs to say sorry and please and thank you,” said Riggs.
“I walked into the classroom and the aide left him right there on the floor,” said another student, who did not want to be identified. “Me and my other friend tried to help but the aide blocked us and said leave him there.”
Other students recorded the aide standing over the student with his hands on his hips.
“The student kept saying, help me, help me. And the aide didn’t until he said sorry and please. Because he didn’t wait for him, he said,” said another witness.
Several students reported the incident to their teacher, who they say wrote it up and sent it to the principal.
“The aide was in the classroom for the rest of the day and then our principal was talking to him and that was it,” said the student who did not want to be identified.
Fox 8 learned that the aide was removed from the school Friday.
Lorain City Schools said they couldn’t discuss the incident because it is a personnel matter. However, they released a statement saying, “The paraprofessional has been placed on administrative leave while a full investigation is conducted.”
Still, students are shaken but speaking up. They feel the district should have handled the situation sooner.
“It makes me upset. When you see a handicapped person, you immediately pick him up,” said Riggs.
While the aide is under investigation, Fox 8 is choosing not to identify him.