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Beaumont mom believes her autistic son is being abused at school - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Beaumont mom believes her autistic son is being abused at school

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BEAUMONT - All a Beaumont mom wants for Mother's Day are answers and accountability from the Beaumont Independent School District.

Jennifer O'Neal says her 12-year-old son has been a victim of abuse at school and believes he might have been abused on the school bus.

O'Neal's son, Derrick, is a sixth grader at Vincent Middle School.

He's in the special education program because he's autistic and has limited verbal skills.

O'Neal says last October, a physical education instructor hit her son with a handful of rolled up papers.  It was witnessed by teacher Alisa Courts, along with two teaching assistants and Derrick's classmates.

O'Neal provided 12News with documentation given to her by Courts about the incident.

The documents show that Derrick had a hangnail, but could not express why he hurt, so he slapped another student in frustration.  That's when O'Neal says the P.E. teacher struck Derrick in anger.

In an email to the P.E. teacher, Courts wrote, "I think it is counterproductive for us to imitate the behavior we would like for him to change."  In her documentation of the incident, Courts writes that she never got a response to her concerns from the P.E. teacher.

O'Neal says despite Courts' help and other evidence, BISD administrators have yet to hold the P.E. teacher accountable.

Adding to O'Neal's worries is an incident that happened Thursday of this week.  O'Neal says her son came home on a school bus, and had a bruise that seemed like he had been punched or pinched in the chest area.

O'Neal says she was able to learn from her son that it had happened on the bus, but all day Friday, she was unable to learn from BISD administration or its transportation department how her son was hurt.

O'Neal said, "No one would come out of their office and speak to me."

We contacted Beaumont ISD to help O'Neal try to get answers.  Spokesperson Nakisha Myles told us she's working on getting us information.

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