Mom says 4th grade special needs son abused by teacher's aide at Christa McAuliffe Elementary

Mom says son abused by aide at local school

BAKERSFIELD, Calif, - A mother of a special needs student said her son was abused by one of the school's aides.

Andrew Salazar is a 4th-grade special-needs student with down syndrome at Christa McAuliffe Elementary.

On January 15th, shortly before the bell rang for dismissal, Luis Valencia was picking him up from school and was shocked by what he saw.

"She reaches over, grabs him, he flies about eight feet, tumbles, and starts crying. So my instinct is to get out of the car to where Andrew's at," said Valencia.

Luis said as the class was being dismissed, Andrew ran over to the tetherball court, and as a way of trying to contain him, the teacher's aide grabbed him by his backpack and tossed him into the air.

"He had a mark on his shoulder, and a mark on the back of his rib. So I just tried to remain as calm as possible, because when I walked into the room, Andrew was trying to feed off of my emotions," said Andrew's mother Gina Robles.

Andrew's parents immediately took him to urgent care, where records show he was badly bruised. They also called police, and although 23ABC was able to confirm a case number, details of the report cannot be released, because Andrew is a juvenile.

District officials at Panama Buena Vista Union School District would not comment on camera, but did say this was a personnel issue, and are meeting with the boys parents on Tuesday.

"It hurts really bad. I feel like parents sometimes just brush it off, and people are afraid of speaking up," said Robles.

For the time being, Andrew's parents have taken him out of Christa McAuliffe Elementary. The teacher's aide is still working there. 

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