PICO RIVERA (CBSLA.com) — The El Rancho Unified School District is moving to remove a teacher from schools after accusations she locked a student with ADHD in the closet for bad behavior.
Diane Prather was made the subject of investigations conducted by the school district and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after Nathan Alvarez, 12, claimed he was mistreated during his sixth-grade year at Rivera Middle School.
“She would lock me in the closet because she didn’t like me,” he told CBS2/KCAL9 of Prather. “She would literally get a whole desk, put it inside the closet, and I would get in there she would close the door.”
Superintendent Martin Galindo said Prather has been removed from the classroom since the allegations were reported in May at the end of last school year.
“We’re definitely aware of the allegation. Ms. Prather is not teaching in our schools,” Galindo said.
CBS2/KCAL9 was told the investigations by the Sheriff’s Department and the district were not completed until the start of 2015.
Officials say Prather was placed on paid leave in September.
Nathan’s mother, Marisol Alvarez, has met with district officials about the allegations and said she was shocked when her son confided in her about what was going on in the classroom.
“He has ADHD, and I feel that he was singled out by her because he was too hard to handle, so this is how she hand handled him. She would lock him up in there,” she said.
“You send your kids to school thinking they’re going to be saf, and to have somebody that is supposed to be qualified and educated enough to do this to your own child, it is devastating.”
Galindo said district officials are moving to keep Prather out of schools.
“We are conducting an evidentiary hearing because we are moving forward on dismissal of this teacher,” Galindo said.
CBS2/KCAL9 was unable to contact Prather to ask her about the accusations.