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Mother Says Teacher Slapped Autistic Boy

A cell phone video depicts the scene of an eleven-year-old autistic boy being struck by a teacher. The child’s mother has filed a lawsuit against the Pittsburgh Public Schools because of the slap, and other allegations of assault on the boy.

autism-ribbon2.jpgThe teacher, Lori Davis, was fired from her job by the school district because of the incident at Conroy School, located in Manchester. The video, posted on, is mentioned in the lawsuit. The lawsuit states that the teacher hit the child on the side of the head and then said, “Stop moving your chair back. Move it! And you stay back there! I’ve had it with you!”

One of the claims in the lawsuit is the school’s alleged poor background checking that allowed the teacher to be placed in the school.

The incident was not the first time that the boy was assaulted, according to a teacher’s aide named Andre Burrell. Burrell personally witnessed the teacher both verbally and physically abuse the child on multiple occasions before the March 14th video release in 2008. In addition, the child was also assaulted by a bus aide, who the school district also fired.

The teacher was fired in June of 2008, a full three months after the incident. The state also revoked the teacher’s teaching certificate after the incident was reported to them.

Experts in special education state that this is really the exception to the rule and that most special education teachers are in fact very good with students. Still, this incident could cause parents to step back and wonder what is happening with their own children both in the classroom and on the bus.