ANTIOCH (CBS SF) — A teacher’s aide was arrested Wednesday after disturbing video surfaced that showed the aide assaulting a young boy with special needs at an Antioch school.
The incident happened Tuesday morning at Tobinworld II, a school for special education children in Antioch. Police have opened up an investigation, as has the Antioch school district.
The video that went viral after being posted on Facebook shows several clips of a student in a striped sweater and two teacher’s aides trying to wrestle the child down. At one point, an aide smacks the child hard in the face.
Antioch police were dispatched to the school at 2330 Country Hills Dr. Wednesday morning after the Antioch school’s administration reported the assault.
Arriving officers contacted and interviewed school staff members, other student witnesses and the victim, a 9-year-old resident of Oakland. The victim did not have any visible injuries or complaints of pain.
After conducting interviews and reviewing the cell-phone video of the incident, officers determined that a felony child abuse had occurred.
The teacher’s aide was identified as 26-year-old Kamaljot Kaur, an Antioch resident. Kaur was contacted at her residence in Antioch and was taken into custody.
Tobinworld parent Tim Sickler told KPIX 5 before he placed his own special needs child at the school, he made sure the staff here was trained in CPI: Crisis prevention and intervention. That training emphasizes de-escalation and the use of special holds instead of resorting to violence.
“They didn’t do any of that. I’m a former instructor of CPI and what they did… that’s thugs,” said Sickler as he shook his head. “That’s something that happens out on the street when you get jumped. So those aides not only need to be terminated, but they need to go to jail.”
Kaur and at least one other staff member involved were apparently suspended immediately. An official at Tobinworld, Annetta Giambruno, said Wednesday afternoon that the staff members have been fired.
“That’s not enough. I trust these people with my kid,” said Sickler. “And if they’re not going to protect them, who is? My opinion? The principal, Sarah, she needs to put in her resignation immediately.”
Tobinworld founder and executive director Judi Weber told KPIX 5 by phone that she is “devastated” by what she has seen and that two staffers have been suspended while the school investigates.
“Maybe she was trying to get a child under control, but that’s not how it is done,” Weber said. “I have been doing this for 30 years. I am the mother of an autistic child. We give our employees plenty of training and resources. I don’t want to say anymore because the case is being investigated.”
Alyson Boyd, the mother of a student in the class next door says she is very upset by what she saw. She told KPIX 5 in a Facebook message that she pulled her son out of the school as she saw the video.
“Anetta at Tobinworld II… told me the video was true and it happened in the classroom next to my son’s,” wrote Boyd. “At that point, I told her my son would no longer be attending the school and I would be contacting the district as soon as they opened up.”
This is not the first time the Tobinworld special needs schools have faced controversy.
In September, the mother of a student at Tobinworld II filed a federal lawsuit against his former school, accusing school staff of inappropriately restraining him on multiple occasions and giving him a bloody nose, bruises and causing him to wet his pants.
Antioch police are asking anyone who witnessed the incident to call (925) 778-2441.