Slammed into lockers, isolated in darkened schoolrooms, vulgar language by a teacher – it was just another day at school for special needs student Alex Williams.
Recently released court documents say Alex, who has cerebral palsy, was routinely abused by teacher Melanie Pickens at Atlanta-area Hopewell Middle School between 2006-2007. Despite extensive abuse of Alex and other students that was substantiated by a Fulton County School district investigation in 2007, no charges have been filed against teacher Melanie Pickens or then-Principal Frances Boyd. None of Pickens’ special needs students had the verbal abilities to tell anyone they were being physically and emotionally hurt.
An administrative court confirmed that the Fulton County School District knew about Pickens’ abuse but never told parents. Court documents say Alex Williams was denied the “free, appropriate public education” he is due by law.
The Fulton County School District was ordered to pay for 5 years of special instruction and therapies for now 19-year-old Alex Williams to help him regain lost ground.
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