KATY, Texas (KTRK/CNN) – A former paraprofessional at a Texas high school faces a felony charge after she allegedly struck a high school student with autism in the head with her cell phone.
Court records say Crystal Sedlar, a paraprofessional or teacher’s aide at James E. Taylor High School, attempted to physically move a 15-year-old student with autism, who was being argumentative with a special education teacher on Oct. 22.
The incident resulted in a mutual fight in which the teen allegedly pulled Sedlar’s hair and slapped her. Sedlar is accused of slapping him back.
Another paraprofessional helped defuse the situation.
As the 15-year old was walking out of the room with his back to her, Sedlar allegedly threw her cell phone at him, hitting the back of his head.
Witnesses told investigators this was done without additional provocation.
During an investigation by the Katy Independent School District, Sedlar resigned from her position. She was later charged with injury to a child or disabled individual, which is a third-degree felony.
“The safety and security of Katy ISD students and staff is the district’s top priority. Whenever Katy ISD is made aware of an allegation, staff work swiftly with law enforcement and other agencies to ensure a thorough investigation and resolution in order to protect all students,” said the district in a statement.
Psychotherapist Micki Grimland says a teacher’s aide should never be touching a child, especially one with autism.
“A person who is so reactive and impulsive in their reactivity in a harmful way to a child has no business being anywhere near a child, just by virtue of they’re the adult and the child is the child,” she said.
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