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DISD Employee Charged With Injuring Autistic Student

Education

Dallas ISD | Image by NBC DFW

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Police arrested a Dallas Independent School District (DISD) teacher’s aide on Thursday for allegedly slamming a special needs student with autism onto the ground last month.

The incident occurred on September 23 at Larry G. Smith Elementary School in Mesquite.

The student’s foster mother told WFAA, “She literally just picked up my son and slammed him onto the floor. You can hear him crying in the footage.”

Video surveillance footage from the classroom allegedly shows the now-former DISD teacher’s aide Deborah Thompson, 54, physically assault the 7-year-old after he did not obey her order to stop swinging his backpack, which, as his foster parents claim, he was doing in a non-threatening manner.

“She stands up and tells him to stop,” said the boy’s foster father speaking with WFAA.

“He goes to swing it again, but before he gets the chance, she picks him up and slams him to the ground. His face goes right into the ground because she’s holding his hands behind his back,” he stated.

The parents explained that the classroom’s teacher called the principal to report the matter.

They were eventually notified days later that an investigation into the incident was being conducted by DISD, claiming that it was conveyed to them that Thompson’s choice of “restraint” was under review.

Thompson reportedly resigned just days after the incident.

However, when the parents were shown the surveillance footage, they involved the police. The Dallas Police Department reviewed the footage and advised them that there was enough evidence for them to press charges against Thompson, which they did.

“After we saw the footage, I wondered what else had been done, not just to our son, but to others in the class. It was aggressive right off the bat,” the father told WFAA.

A warrant for Thompson’s arrest was issued on Wednesday, and she was taken into police custody on Thursday. She was charged with one count of injury to a child with the intent of bodily injury.

The Dallas Express reached out to DISD for comment on the matter, asking if Thompson had any known history of violence while working for DISD or been the subject of any prior disciplinary action or reprimand from the district.

The district responded, simply stating, “The individual you are seeking information about resigned Sept. 26, and is no longer a Dallas ISD employee.”

Thompson is currently being held in Dallas County jail with a bond set at $35,000.     

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