Mother Takes Legal Action Against New Rochelle School District, Claims Assistant Forcibly Pulled Away And Yelled At Autistic Son

A mother is taking legal action against the New Rochelle City School District, claiming an aide violently jerked and yelled at her autistic son.

The mother, Leah Griggs Pauly, says she shared her story with News 12 in an effort to prevent this from happening to other children.

“Nathan is very high functioning, he’s super verbal, he’s a very smart kid,” Griggs Pauly said.

When eight-year-old Nathan Pauly entered second grade at Ward School last year, he was assigned an aide who worked with him one-on-one every day.

“We specifically asked if the assistant would be trained, the district said, ‘No, they couldn’t train someone.’ Instead, they would give someone experience,” Griggs Pauly explains.

In March, Leah Griggs Pauly received a call from the principal warning her about an investigation into her child.

“The classroom teacher reported that Nathan was being pulled by the arm by his assistant. She was standing, he was sitting on the floor and she was trying to physically drag him out of the classroom. The assistant was yelling at Nathan, yelling into his face,” Griggs said Pauly.

Nathan told his mother that this was not the first time this had happened, but she never heard anything about it from the neighborhood again.

“I never heard from the director of the investigation again. They never shared any findings,” she said.

Nathan was assigned a different assistant and his former assistant was transferred to a different class. But she was still in charge of the special needs bus, so Nathan still had to communicate with her, according to his mother.

“It didn’t make sense to me that something like this could happen, that it would be serious enough that other teachers would speak out, serious enough that there would be an investigation and they would just move her to another child who had needs.”

Nathan’s mother says the school failed her son.

“We couldn’t trust the district to do its job to teach Nathan or even keep him safe, and safety is the minimum,” she said.

She removed Nathan from the district entirely and is suing for negligence.

“It never occurred to me that he would be in a situation with an adult in his care and that person would actively hurt him,” she says.

In a statement, the school district said it does not comment on pending litigation, but the aide is still listed as an employee, according to the district’s website.

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