Charges filed against former educators for alleged treatment of special needs students

Posted at 8:35 PM, Jan 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-24 20:35:53-05

MONROE, Mich. (WXYZ) — Criminal charges are being filed against three former school workers who were fired last November from Monroe Intermediate School District.

This comes amid allegations of improper conduct involving students with special needs.

“My kid doesn’t speak or have a voice. So, someone needs to be held accountable for this. No child should go through this. No parent, no family,” parent Precious Gonzales said.

Her 11-year-old son JJ is an alleged victim.

“It’s heartbreaking. My son is non-verbal. This is something nobody should have to go through,” Gonzales said.

Last year, the mother spoke with 7 Action News after the firing of a teacher and two other workers. She says her son and another 11-year-old boy were both forced into a closet.

“I would love to see some prison time. They need to be held accountable for putting my son in there and didn’t think twice about it. That’s what makes it even more heartbreaking. This school is for our kids. I always worried about this happening at a regular school and that’s the reason he stayed where he’s at,” Gonzales said.

We’ve confirmed prosecutors have charged the three former staff members with misdemeanor counts of neglecting and refusing to perform an act, carrying a maximum penalty of as much as three months behind bars and hundreds in fines.

We tried to reach them for comment but our messages were not returned.

“This is something we have to live with forever now. This is something we are going to carry forever,” Gonzales said.

The school district has also declined comment after initially saying they took immediate action to ensure safety of students and staff.

“Our kids act out in behaviors because they can’t talk and express. Who knows exactly what damage has been done because he can’t tell me how he feels. If he’s scared to go back to school or scared of this person,” Gonzales said.

All three former school workers will be arraigned on Feb. 27 at 9 a.m. We’ll be there to bring you the latest developments.