CHICAGO An autistic boy who cannot speak alerted his father to alleged abuse by a teacher by drawing pictures, some featuring stick-figures saying "no" and "help".
Luis Murillo said his 7-year-old autistic son had been coming home from school with bruises on his body since early in the school year, CBS Chicago reported.
The youngster also returned home with the knees of his pants ripped out, as if he had been pulled across the ground.
The school told him it was from children fighting, Murillo said.
But then the boy began drawing. He drew pictures of stick-figure children looking scared and sad, saying "no".
One picture featured three tall stick-figure women with angry brows and giant teeth and a stick-figure saying "help". Another drawing featured stick-figures saying "screaaaamm!!"
"Every time he drew, we just thought he was drawing," Murillo said. "He needs psychological help; not only him, but the other kids, too."
A special-education teacher at Finkl Elementary School was removed from her classroom, Chicago Public Schools confirmed Tuesday.
Other parents had also noticed injuries on their children.
Jessica Sanchez said her 8-year-old son, who has Down Syndrome, came home with deep scratches on his face in early March, and the mark of what looked like an adult's hand on his forearm last Thursday.
An aide wrote a note that the boy scratched himself on a table, but the teacher told her the aide scratched him by accident.
Sanchez said when she was at the school one day her son grabbed her, hid behind her and pointed at a teacher.
"I was like, OK, what is the teacher doing that he's pointing at her?" she said.
Sanchez said the school principal told her on Thursday that the teacher and aides had been removed from the classroom.
Parents told the Chicago Sun-Times the teacher had two aides working with her and the 13 children.
No-one has been charged in connection with the matter.
Chicago Public Schools would not say why the teacher had been removed, nor would the district confirm what had happened to the aides.
"The teacher has been removed from the classroom and has no contact with students. Appropriate further action will be taken pending the outcome of the investigation," CPS spokesman David Miranda said in an email.