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Keller Family Lawsuit Claims Teacher Abused Disabled Son

KELLER (CBSDFW.COM) - CBS 11 News has learned exclusive information about a federal lawsuit filed against a major North Texas school district.

The Keller family says someone they trusted to care for him abused their son.

CBS 11 spoke with the family that is suing a former teacher in the Keller Independent School District. They claim the teacher is the one who inflicted the abuse.

The Rideau family is also suing the school district – claiming it knew there was a problem and failed to stop it.

After suffering brain damage as a baby, Breggett Rideau says her son, Terrance, had little hope of surviving to the age of three.

Now 18, he is thriving beyond all expectation with the help of therapy, nurses, and his fiercely protective mother.

"They said if you just love him he will prosper," Rideau recalled. "Everything they told me he'd never be able to do - he's doing it."

Starting in 2008, Rideau noticed her son coming home from Keller Middle School with mysterious bruises. She took him to the doctor for several injuries including a knot on his head, a broken thumb, and a dislocated knee.

In 2010, Rideau finally made a formal request for a school investigation. She said it was a revelation. "My God, I learned that my child suffered way more than I knew. I found out that my baby, one lady said, he was dropped too many times to count."

According to the lawsuit filed by Terrence's family, interviews with school staff confirmed his "abuse, neglect, and endangerment."

Records even show that as far back as 2008 an employee had made a report to administrators detailing concerns about Terrence's teacher. The report claims the male teacher, "used his foot forcefully to move Terrance," also "yelled at Terrance in an aggressive manner," and even repeatedly "ate part of Terrance's lunch."

Thinking about the incidents Breggett Rideau said, "I never received one phone call. They didn't give me a chance to save my son. Nobody told anything. They didn't give me a chance to pull him out. They didn't give me a chance to get him out of it.  And they knew all that time."
Rideau is now a vocal advocate of placing cameras in special education classrooms, to monitor the treatment of vulnerable students who she says, "…can't tell him to stop. They can't tell you what happened to them."

The Keller mom is still piecing together what happened to her child and is now hopeful she can prevent the same from happening to others.

Keller officials said the school district could not comment on pending litigation. The case is set to go to trial next week.

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