GRANADA HILLS (CBSLA.com) — The mother of a 4-year-old special needs student is suing the LAUSD alleging a teacher slapped her child in the face.
It’s a story you will only see on KCAL9.
Kristin Knight, who lives in Grenada Hills, spoke to KCAL9’s Serene Branson.
“There was a slapping sound. It was a hard hit to my son’s face,” says Knight.
She told Branson she witnessed her son Hunter’s special ed teacher slap him. Hunter is a student at Knollwood Elementary Pre-K.
Knight said on April 8, she noticed her son was upset and acting out. She told Branson she was walking Hunter to their car when the teacher tried to soothe him by giving him a bear hug from behind.
“I’m at this point I’ve already squatted down to his level and saying, ‘Calm down, calm down.’ And he nips her and she steps back and goes, ‘You bit me?’, places her left hand on his head and proceeds to slap him across the face, leaving a welt and a bruise.”
Knight took photos after the incident and says the teacher didn’t deny it. “You’re trained to deal with special needs children. And it’s not okay to lay your hand on anyone. For [the school] to tell me to bring him back and move on? Really?”
She has not taken Hunter back to the school since the incident. “I can’t give me son to a child abuser.”
Knight says she’s contacted the principal and the school district, repeatedly, and hasn’t gotten a response. She’s also resigned her position as PTA president.
She’s filed a claim hoping the teacher will be removed from the classroom.
“It’s shocking to me they haven’t contacted this family to do the right thing. They’ve ignored them,” says Knight’s attorney, Mark Apelian.
An LAUSD spokesperson told Branson that because a civil suit is imminent, they were unable to comment. They also said they are still in the process of reviewing the claim.