Lancaster teacher on leave for alleged physical abuse of student with special needs

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Thursday, February 23, 2023
SoCal teacher on leave for alleged abuse of student with special needs
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A Lancaster teacher has been placed on leave amid an investigation into allegations she physically abused a 16-year-old student with special needs.

LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- Leslie Garcia Lara is upset over what Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies say happened to her daughter with special needs at Quartz Hill High School in Lancaster.

She said detectives called her Friday and informed her that her daughter's teacher was under investigation for allegedly physically abusing the girl.

The shocking allegations left the mother devastated and frantic.

"My God! Why is this happening to your kid when you trusted them," she said. "According to them, she was forcibly holding my daughter's hands to the point of pain - to learn how to write.

"My daughter has the mentality of a 2 to 3-year-old. We saw that there is bruising on her hand, and there's a lump protruding from the top of her hand."

She took her 16-year-old daughter to the hospital for X-rays and is waiting on the results.

Antelope Valley Union High School District says it was made aware of the alleged incident and have placed the special needs teacher on administrative leave during the sheriff's investigation.

A spokesperson released a statement that said in part: "The allegations are serious and counter to our mission of ensuring that every child's needs are being met in a safe and supportive environment."

Leslie tells ABC7 she feels the school district has not been transparent.

"It just feels like you can't trust anybody. How do you send your kid back?" she said.

According to Leslie, deputies told her that teacher aides first reported the allegations. She now believes the abuse may have been happening for several weeks, because she says recently her daughter is less interested in going to school.

ABC7 on Wednesday called the teacher accused of child abuse. She did not want to continue the conversation and disconnected the call.

So far no charges have been filed.