3 school staff members fired for misconduct involving students with special needs

Posted at 8:11 PM, Nov 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-16 20:13:18-05

MONROE, Mich. (WXYZ) — Disturbing allegations of abusive behavior have cost three school staff members their jobs.

A criminal investigation is also underway by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. 7 Action News has learned it happened within the Monroe Community Intermediate School District in a program focused on teaching students with special needs.

“When they called, they said my son was involved in an incident. They weren’t specific and just said there was an investigation going on,” parent Precious Gonzales said.

She told us she always thought her son was safe at school. Instead, she says the 11-year-old boy and another student who is also 11 were forced into a closet.

“That’s my worst nightmare. My son can’t talk and can’t express himself. He can’t tell me when someone has hurt him. That’s always been my worst fear. Sending him to school and somebody doing something like this to him,” Gonzales said.

Three staff members have since been fired for the misconduct allegedly dating back to the start of the school year. Both boys allegedly victimized are also non-verbal.

“Our children don’t have a voice. They show us how they feel through behavior. If they have a bad day, they will come home and be super irritable, upset,” parent Brittany Delp said.

We’ve confirmed the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has also wrapped up a criminal investigation that’s now under review by the prosecutor.

As for the district, they’ve declined an interview but released a statement, saying in part:

“These allegations are taken extremely seriously. When the allegations were first stated, immediate action was taken to place all parties in question on leave, ensuring no further contact with students… it is the MCISD’s number one obligation to ensure the safety of our students and staff.”

Parents say they shouldn’t have to worry about their child’s safety when sending them to school.

“Not only do we deserve and apology, but they should definitely be held responsible for what’s happened for both of our children,” Delp said.

Gonzales added, “To me, that was purposeful and cruel because you know these kids can’t defend themselves and can’t tell anybody.”