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Mom takes legal action against New Rochelle school district, claims aide violently yanked, yelled at autistic son

A mother is taking legal action against the New Rochelle City School District, claiming an aide violently yanked and yelled at her autistic son.

Emily Young

May 29, 2024, 9:12 PM

Updated 24 days ago

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A mother is taking legal action against the New Rochelle City School District, claiming an aide violently yanked and yelled at her autistic son.
The mother, Leah Griggs Pauly, says she shared her story with News 12 in an effort to prevent this from happening to other kids.
"Nathan's really high functioning, he's super verbal, he's a really bright kid," says Griggs Pauly.
When 8-year-old Nathan Pauly began second grade at the Ward School last year, he was assigned an aide to work one-on-one with him every day.
"We asked specifically whether the aide would be trained, the district said, 'No, they couldn't provide someone with training.' Instead, they would provide someone with experience," explained Griggs Pauly.
In March, Leah Griggs Pauly got a call from the principal to alert her of an investigation regarding her child.
"The classroom teacher reported that Nathan was being pulled by the arm by his aide. She was standing, he was sitting on the floor, and she tried to physically drag him out of the classroom. The aide was yelling at Nathan, screaming in his face," said Griggs Pauly.
Nathan told his mother this wasn't the first time this happened, but she never heard another word about it from the district.
"I never heard anything ever again from the principal of the investigation. They never shared findings," she said.
Nathan was assigned a different aide, and his former aide was moved to a different class. But she was still in charge of the special needs bus, so his mother says Nathan still had to interact with her.
"It didn't make any sense to me that something like this could happen, that it would be serious enough for other teachers to speak out, serious enough for there to be an investigation and that they would just move her to another kid that has needs."
Nathan’s mother says the school failed her son.
"We couldn't trust the district to do their job to teach Nathan or even keep him safe, and safety is the minimum," she said.
She took Nathan out of the district entirely, and is suing for negligence.
"It just never occurred to me that he would be in a situation with an adult entrusted with his care and that person would be actively hurting him," she says.
In a statement, the school district said they don't comment on pending litigation, but according to the district's website, the aide is still listed as an employee.


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