Treadwell teacher arrested on charges of assaulting student with autism

Treadwell teacher arrested on charges of assaulting student with autism

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Treadwell Middle School special education teacher has been arrested after assaulting a student with special needs, officials said.

WMC5 was there as police arrived at Treadwell Middle School to arrest 61-year-old Kathy Brooks, a special education teacher at the school.

Brooks is charged with misdemeanor assault.

The incident happened on Nov. 30, 2018, when Brooks reportedly assaulted a 12-year-old boy with severe autism.

Treadwell teacher arrested on charges of assaulting student with autism

According to police records, the boy's mom Amanda Duke picked him up from school and noticed a large bruise on his left ear.

When she asked the boy what happened, he said Brooks pulled on his ear in class.

Duke confronted Brooks and the school’s principal, and Brooks said she pulled on the boy’s ear while “simply playing a game” with him.

"I'm relieved,” Duke said. “I am relieved that she is out of the classroom, I am relieved that she cannot hurt any other special needs children.”

Duke said her son is severely traumatized.

"He had to be put on medication to help him sleep, he had to have anxiety medication, he’s struggling,” Duke said.

Kathy Brooks (Source: SCSO)
Kathy Brooks (Source: SCSO) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

The police report also says the school’s principal heard a child screaming around 1:30 p.m. the day of the incident and later found out it was Duke’s son screaming.

He told police he looked in the classroom and the boy did not appear to be in distress.

Both Duke and her mom Anita Webb were outside of the school Wednesday waiting to see Brooks be escorted by police.

Duke said her son has since moved to a new school, and she hopes Brooks never enters another one.

"I hope she goes to jail, I hope she never works with children again,” Duke said.

Kathy Brooks (Source: Treadwell Middle School's website)
Kathy Brooks (Source: Treadwell Middle School's website) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

"We take obviously these matters extremely seriously,” said Natalia Powers with Shelby County Schools.

Powers said Brooks was placed on administrative leave after the incident while SCS conducted an internal investigation

"They interview students, they interview other teachers, other adults that were in the area and then they were able to corroborate that the investigation was not substantiated,” Brooks said.

Powers says Brooks returned to school January 10 after no evidence supported claims of abuse.

"I am severely disappointed in Shelby County Schools that they would let this happen,” Duke said.

Powers said the Memphis Police Department and Department of Children Services each conduct its own investigations which may have led to Brooks' arrest Wednesday.

She said SCS will respond accordingly pending the outcome of the investigation.

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