'˜He kept saying they were hurting him but they didn't stop' Parents of young autistic pupil who was assaulted by teachers in Milton Keynes speaks out
A teacher and a teaching assistant have been convicted in court of assaulting a vulnerable autistic pupil on his first day at their school and now his parents have spoken out.
Sandra Humphrey, 52, and 50-year-old Sharon Benton dragged the 12-year-old and his desk out of the classroom using unnecessary force, say police.
The boy sustained bruising to his leg and injuries to his ribs.
Teacher Mrs Humphrey and teaching assistant Mrs Benton worked for Stephenson Academy in Stantonbury - a special school for young people with social, emotional and mental health needs.
Both have now been dismissed from their jobs for gross misconduct.
Last week they were found guilty of common assault after a two day trial at MK Magistrates court. They were fined £300, given a conditional discharge for six months, and each ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £20.
After the case, the boy’s parents told how the assault, which happened nine months ago, had left their son too scared to go to school again.
“It was his very first day at the academy. He was in a science lesson. He wasn’t refusing to do his work He was struggling with the beginning of the lesson and work hadn’t even started.
“He hadn’t heard the teacher in the first instance and was questioning them and that’s when they got angry with him,” his parents said in a joint response.
“The teachers grabbed him and dragged him while he was still on his chair across the classroom. The desk came with him - which is why he was so bruised all over his legs. He kept saying the teachers were hurting him but they did not stop.”
The dad said the teachers then pinned the boy up against the wall.
“It seemed a totally unnecessary punishment for a minor incident. The headteacher agreed with us as soon as he saw on CCTV what happened.”
The parents withdrew their son from the school immediately and have been unable to find another suitable placement for him.
“We told him Stephen Academy would be great for him and would understand the difficulties he has because of his autism. He has lost trust in all schools now. Yet he is high achieving and needs to be in a place where he can learn,W said his dad,.
Stephenson Academy executive principal Dr Neil Barrett told the Citizen: “The academy fully supported the decision to prosecute This was a one off and wholly unnecessary incident for which an appropriate punishment was handed down by the presiding judge... We hope that all involved are now able to move on.”