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Video shows teacher's assistant roughing up boy who has autism

Teacher’s assistant caught on camera roughing up 5-year-old boy who has autism
Teacher’s assistant caught on camera roughing up 5-year-old boy who has autism 02:47

MARGATE – John Fishley and his wife Finola Long are parents to 5-year-old twins Amani and Amari, who have autism.

Both are nonverbal, and Amani needs special attention, according to his father.

"He has tantrums, he self harms and throws himself on the ground," said Fishley.

But nothing could prepare him for what he saw in a video provided by a therapist, who was in their son's pre-K special needs classroom at Morrow Elementary in North Lauderdale a couple weeks ago.

In the video, you see a teacher's assistant grabbing Amani and pulling him to a chair and repeatedly trying to force him to sit down.

Fishley and his wife believe the actions are child abuse.

"It was quite horrible to see him being treated worse than an animal," Fishley said.

Fishley said after seeing the video they went to the Broward Sheriff's Office to file a report and they contacted the principal.

"We found out Wednesday and the principal said she would launch an investigation on Friday," said Fishley.

But Fishley believes the principal was informed about the incident shortly after it happened May 10.

CBS4 sent the video to the Broward School District. Spokesman John Sullivan responded in a statement:

"Priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students.  The district will immediately look into the video and take any Necessary actions."

Fishley and his wife say at the very least the teacher's assistant should be removed from the classroom, and they say what they saw has opened their eyes to what their children will keep facing.

"If you are not there, they are open to abuse because they can't speak for themselves," he said.

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