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North Texas school district sued after teacher allegedly assaults 4-year-old

North Texas school district sued after teacher allegedly assaults 4-year-old. Parents say the district didn't report it
North Texas school district sued after teacher allegedly assaults 4-year-old. Parents say the district didn't report it 02:43

COLLIN COUNTY — A North Texas teacher is facing a felony charge for allegedly assaulting a pre-K student. 

That student's parents have filed a lawsuit against the school district in Collin County, which they accuse of failing to report what happened to police. They shared a video with CBS News Texas that they say captured the violent attack on a 4-year-old boy.

Gregory and Salam Thomas want people to see the bright smile on their 4-year-old son Aaron that they say has too often been missing since he was enrolled at Canup Early Childhood Center in Princeton.

"It has changed him," said Gregory Thomas. "He doesn't like to sleep by himself. He feels afraid."

The Thomas' say they received a call from Princeton ISD in November notifying them that their child had been locked outside the school during recess.

"And then there was a video that they wanted to show us," said Gregory Thomas. "So we were like, 'okay.'"

In that video, the parents say Linda Dueer, a 73-year-old pre-K teacher, can be seen scolding Aaron and then assaulting him.

"She grabbed him and swung him around, up against the wall, said something to him. And then she slapped him, almost knocked him off his feet," said Gregory Thomas. "I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe she did that."

Aaron's parents expected the teacher to be arrested for assault.

But they say Princeton Police knew nothing about it when they contacted the department weeks later for an update.

"Even the lieutenant was like, 'I don't understand why they didn't contact us,'" Gregory Thomas said.

Princeton Police referred the case to a grand jury that indicted Duerr on a 3rd-degree felony charge of injury to a child with bodily injury. She was arrested last week.

Aaron's parents say she was still teaching months after the incident.

CBS News Texas asked Princeton ISD what happened, and received the following statement:

"Princeton ISD is aware of the incident and is cooperating with the Princeton Police Department as officers investigate the case. The teacher has been placed on administrative leave."

The parents filed a civil lawsuit against Princeton ISD seeking damages for their child's pain and suffering. They also want their school district and others to be more responsible about reporting crimes on campus.

"I'm really shocked," said Salam Thomas. "I'm shocked. I do believe in the U.S. they need to do more to protect their children."

"It breaks my heart to this day, knowing that I wasn't there to protect my son," Gregory Thomas said.

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