KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Community members as well as parents and students of Horace Mann Middle School showed signs of solidarity again Friday outside of the Kanawha County Board of Education building.
The group hopes to urge school board members to release video footage allegedly capturing abuse inside a special needs classroom.
In May, WSAZ.com reported that three school employees were facing battery charges.
According to Charleston Police they were caught on camera, in a special needs classroom, abusing students both physically and verbally.
Walter Pannell, who, according to HMMS’s website, is an aide at the middle school, is accused of pushing, dragging and spanking a student with developmental disabilities. According to a criminal complaint, Pannell also threatened to “punch the student in the nose” if they did not stop looking at his sandwich. Pannell is facing battery charges.
Lillian Branham, who is also listed as an aide, is accused of slapping a non-verbal student on the hands, grabbing them by their chin and slapping them multiple times with an open hand, causing the student to raise their hands and curl up in defense. She is also facing battery charges.
Anthony Wilson, who is listed as a “severe/profound teacher” on Horace Mann Middle School’s website, is accused of forcefully grabbing a non-verbal student by the arm, and holding the student while an aide shook and spanked the student. He is also accused of helping an aide sling the student onto a beanbag chair while the student almost struck their head on a cabinet.
Now, parents and community members are demanding the school board release the video footage to the public which shows the incidents.
Community urges Kanawha Co. Schools to release video showing alleged abuse in special needs classroom
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