A former teacher's aide for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District, Michael Beasley, was sentenced to probation for slapping a special education student in a WISD program for autistic students at Scarlett Middle School in Ann Arbor. He had already been convicted of another misdemeanor in a related case.
At first, when reports surfaced in 2008 that students had been mistreated by the aide, the WISD investigated and then transferred the aide to High Point School in Ann Arbor. Parents, dissatisfied with the WISD response to the charges, contacted the police who did their own investigation that led to criminal charges against the aide. The Director of Special Education for the WISD at the time resigned and other administrators were reassigned. The aide was fired based on a reinvestigation of the case by the WISD.
As reported by AnnArbor.com on September 8, 2010, the aide pleaded no contest to the charge of slapping a special education student in exchange for dropping a felony charge against him. He was later sentenced to one year of probation for a misdemeanor charge of assault.
According to AnnArbor.com, the mother of the autistic student said her son was hit so hard his face had a red mark for 15 minutes and that allegations from other parents showed a pattern of abuse. She said, "...My son could not communicate this abuse, and you cannot imagine how that made me feel.”
The aide's attorney said the sentence was redundant because Beasley is already on probation through the 15th District Court for a separate but related conviction.
For background information on this case see previous blog entries with links to reports from the Ann Arbor News.