Folks, lots of stuff has happened even before the original article about this beating of an autistic child at Shelby Middle School was even published yesterday. I always send out advanced copies to the Commissioners, DSS, Law Enforcement, even CCS in situations such as this. I do this for the sole purpose of giving them the opportunity to explain the situation. (Which they seldom do.) From these advanced copies I was reminded that this was not the first incident of an autistic child being beaten, abused or neglected at CCS. One incident at Casar and another incident at Kings Mountain High School was quickly brought to my attentions, although my sources opined that many more were successfully covered up. Then there are the two cases that I know of where young autistic adults were improperly declared incompetent and drug away from their mother’s protection so DSS could collect their disability check. These noted abuses of autistic students and young adults represent five incidents that I am closely aware of. All of them discovered by accident. All discovered by keeping my eyes and ears open. And from what I see and hear, there is a pattern of corruption and coverup regarding the abuse of autistic children in Cleveland County The rest of THIS article is in regard to an incident at Shelby Middle School that I heard about at the April 8, 2019 School Board meeting.
First, I must report that North Carolina law REQUIRES anyone with a “suspicion” of Child Abuse, Neglect of Dependency report such to the Director of the Department of Social Services in the County in which the victim resides. Lots of people don’t know that. I know that and CCS knows that too. This report to the DSS can be in writing, verbal or even anonymously. I have made several such reports over the years and always in writing. That way IDSS has to respond to me regarding my report.
I know that DSS has to initiate an investigation when such reports of abuse, neglect or dependency are made that involves caregivers. Caregivers being a legal term under NC Law that does not apply to schools. Reports of non-caregivers regarding child abuse, neglect and dependency are usually referred to the law enforcement agencies that have jurisdiction in the location where the victim resides. Child abuse and neglect are crimes in North Carolina. School employees may be charged although the schools themselves may be able to skate on by. No matter, I filed an official and written complaint with the DSS as well as the Sheriff and the Shelby Police Department. With the school board, CCS Administration and Commissioners thrown in for good manners.
I also copied the VFW chapter whose representatives were recognized (just minutes before this beating of the autistic child was disclosed) at the April 8, 2019 School Board meeting for donations of approximately $200,000 designated for autistic children’s programs. Unfortunately, the VFW representatives left the meeting before the abuse disclosure was made. I sat there totally PO’d that those Veterans, some that I know, who served in combat roles in Viet Nam and in other dangerous locations around the world, who have placed their lives on the line for the freedoms we have in this country to have themselves unknowingly used and abused as they have worked so hard to raise money for autistic children’s programs. And to think that their elected school board would ensure that these autistic children that they support are cared for properly. Only to be cheated out of the honor they deserve by folks that will take their money and then dishonor the purpose for which these brave men work so hard for.
Only minutes after these brave VFW representatives left the meeting, the story came out during Public Participation. An autistic child had been attacked and beaten in gym class while three gym teachers, who may have instigated the whole thing, watched the autistic child being beaten, abuse and bullied, laughed out loud and did nothing. Had not one girl who was totally incensed over what was happening, not let the gym class and gone to Principal Dustin Bridges’ Office, this incident would be totally covered up.
But, as I sat there taking notes as fast as I could, I realized that now that I knew about this incident, I had sufficient “suspicion” of abuse or neglect that I was legally and morally bound to make a lawful report to the proper authorities. And me being ME I reported it to everybody that maybe needed to be involved. The DSS, Commissioners, the school board, the Commissioners, the Sheriff and the Chief of the Shelby Police Department.
And things moved fast after that.
About 1 PM the day my report came out I received an email message from a Shelby Police Officer stating that DSS had referred the case to the SPD and he asking for more information. I contacted the persons that had made the original report to the School Board and they contacted the SPD Officer. They know the identities of the three gym coaches, they know the abused child, the daughter at Shelby Middle School was an eye witness along with many others. Shelby Middle School Principal Bridges had security camera footage of the incident, if he hasn’t destroyed it yet-which is likely. If Bridges has destroyed evidence, there are plenty of eye witnesses. All of which are glad to share information and testimony with the SPD.
And such an incident with three CCS coaches on the scene-on school property, laughing at the autistic child as he is being abused and bullied, clearly indicates such as incidents as this are commonplace at CCS schools as alluded to previously. I have received several calls since my original report and had two related calls as I was writing this article. All telling of such incidents going back years to present.
Folks, the hazing, bullying, abusing and mistreatment of autistic and otherwise special needs children at school is a very long-term series of incidents where other children with other disabilities are also being mistreated too. I have been advised that sometimes students who take up for disabled children being abused and bullied are themselves punished by school officials. Something is bad wrong here and the community needs to get together and put a stop to it.
Otherwise, the next child attacked, bullied and abused at school may be your child. And you will find out for yourself that nothing will be done by school officials. And if YOU complain, CCS officials have ways to retaliate against you AND your child while the School Board just sits there and frowns at you in silence.
Stay tuned and remember that next year is election year for a majority of school board members. Sign up to run for the school board. Inform yourself and vote out of office Shearra Miller, Phillip Glover, Richard Hooker, Roger Harris and Jeff Jones. Vote for five good replacements on the school board. And be sure to not be taken in by any liars that are recruited by CCS insiders like Jo Boggs just to have new names on the ballot.