A special education aide at DeSoto High School faces felony charges after video footage allegedly capturing her striking a student with a power cord was turned in to the authorities.
Gloria Lowe voluntarily surrendered to DeSoto police on October 20 at their behest. She has since been released on a bond of $15,000.
She had already been put on administrative leave by DeSoto ISD three days prior when allegations that she had abused a non-verbal autistic student emerged.
While the district is conducting its own investigation into the incident, DeSoto police were informed of the alleged abuse and issued an arrest warrant for Lowe a day later.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the video allegedly showing Lowe striking the 18-year-old was recorded by a fellow special needs student in the same classroom.
The mother of the student who recorded the incident, Joyce Hernandez, told NBC 5 DFW that she was proud of her daughter, who has “been like an advocate for kids for years.”
The victim’s mother, known only as “Williams,” told NBC 5 in an interview that the news had blindsided her. Her son appeared to hold Lowe in high esteem, and she struggled to imagine what could have brought on the educator’s alleged violence.
“He intimidates people a lot because of his size [6’4”], but he doesn’t do anything,” said Williams. “He’s my heart. He’s my pride and my joy. He’s a gift from God.”
Williams explained that no disciplinary plan had been implemented for her son since he was not known to have any behavioral problems. She had already filed several grievances with DeSoto ISD due to the district purportedly failing to teach her son essential language skills. Now, she has removed her son from school and is contemplating legal action.
“Yes, I am going to raise hell,” she said. “I want to make sure that accountability is going to happen in DeSoto this time. It’s going to put a lot of school districts on blast. I want them to know this is not acceptable.”
DeSoto ISD released a statement saying that “it does not tolerate misconduct, particularly such actions that adversely impact student safety and welfare,” according to Fox 4 KDFW.
“The district takes all matters related to the individual and collective safety and security of its school community seriously and notes that this inexcusable act does not reflect the care and compassion of the DeSoto ISD educator workforce,” the statement continued.
Special education needs have risen in Texas over the past few years, and school districts have scrambled to keep up, as previously covered by The Dallas Express. Many districts have been forced to hire contracted workers, leading to soaring costs and budget issues.
In the 2021-2022 school year, Texas school districts had a deficit of over $2 billion, with Dallas ISD, Frisco ISD, Austin ISD, and Houston ISD contributing most to this debt.
Meanwhile, some of the same districts still deliver poor academical results. Dallas ISD has struggled with this for years, with only 43% of students scoring at grade level on their STAAR exams during the 2021-2022 school year, despite having a massive budget reaching roughly $2.5 billion in the 2023-2024 school year.