Family sues school district after teacher caught dragging boy wi - WSMV News 4

Family sues school district after teacher caught dragging boy with special needs

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Surveillance video shows the teacher dragging the boy out of the classroom. (WSMV) Surveillance video shows the teacher dragging the boy out of the classroom. (WSMV)
CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Surveillance video shows the hallway of St. Bethlehem Elementary School in Clarksville.

Kindergarten teacher Bonnie Conn dragged a little boy out of her classroom by the arm. She then used her foot to keep out the child with special needs.

The video then shows the boy alone in the hallway, crying and holding his head that had been hit by the door.

"I don't know how a parent can look at this and not feel rage or concern that this would happen," said attorney Larry Crain, who represents the child's family.

Four days after the first incident it happened again.

"These people are just walking by. This teacher apparently sees it and does nothing about it," said Crain as he played the video.

Crain is now suing the school district on the family's behalf in federal court. They allege the 6-year-old's Americans with Disabilities Act rights were violated.

The district has declined News 4’s request for an interview.

Instead, spokesperson Elise Shelton sent a statement saying:

CMCSS is committed to providing a safe environment conducive to learning for all of our students.

"Schools are the last place you would ever expect a disabled child to be physically abused by a teacher," Crain said.

It's a problem people are talking about.

The News 4 I-Team recently revealed that out of 60 Midstate schools, students with disabilities received corporal punishment more than their peers who do not have disabilities.

Gov. Bill Haslam spoke out about his concern.

"I think there needs to be consequences to keep this momentum going that's going in Tennessee to try and get a change in the law to help these children," Crain said.

Rarely are these incidents ever captured on camera. It has this child's family worried and wondering what else is happening.

"Fortunately there were cameras outside this teacher's room. That's not always the case," Crain said.

Conn began working for Clarksville Montgomery County schools in 2005. She was placed at an alternative work site in February. She resigned six days later.

Clarksville police are also involved. Their criminal investigation remains open. 

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