A teacher from Wurtland Elementary School in Kentucky has been charged with fourth-degree assault on a victim under 12 years of age, after she dragged an autistic student down the hall.
Trina Abrams was a resource teacher at the Greenup County school, having worked as a special education teacher in Kentucky. On October 24th, 2018, Abrams was called to help handle an outburst from an autistic student, Alan Jackson, age 9. As the situation escalated, Abrams cleared the classroom of other students, having them wait outside the room along the hallway wall.
Video cameras then show Abrams dragging Jackson out of the room. She passes another teacher in the hallway, who doesn’t seem to respond to Abrams’ behavior. Abrams continued dragging Jackson out of the camera’s view. She can be heard asking Jackson if he wants to walk, and he tells her no. She is then seen on another camera asking him again if he wants to walk. Then she tries to get Jackson to stand up, and when he does not, she continues dragging him on his knees.
She then took him into another room where the camera was not turned to see any events that occurred within. After the incident was brought to her attention, Sherry Horsley, School Superintendent for Greenup, said that Jackson’s mother, Angel Nelson, was contacted immediately. In the statement she released, Horsley stated, “The Greenup County School District prioritizes the safety of our students. The district followed established safety protocol as soon as this situation became known. The parent was contacted immediately and the student was assessed by the school nurse and referred for outside medical evaluation. Child Protective Services was contacted and the Kentucky State Police opened an investigation.”
Abrams has been terminated from the school, with an investigation being undertaken. She was also reported to the Kentucky Education Standards Board. Abrams is expected to plead not guilty to the charges against her.
Angel Nelson told reporters that schools need more cameras and better training for those teachers working with disabled children and those who don’t.
Alan Jackson deals with multiple conditions besides autism, including ADHD, PTSD, anxiety and depression. After the incident, Jackson was examined by the school’s nurse, who sent him for outside medical exams. According to his mother, Jackson suffered a sprained wrist while being dragged.
Nelson was aware that her son was prone to outbursts, but expected teachers to be able to handle them differently. She has removed her son from Wurtland and transferred him to another Greenup County school.