NORTH LIBERTY – A St. Joseph County mother is furious after learning her daughter's special education teacher spanked and slapped her.
The 12-year-old girl suffers from a severe learning disorder which also makes her unable to talk.
The incident, which has been confirmed by school officials, happened Tuesday morning at LaVille Junior-Senior High School.
"I'm appalled. I'm shocked," says Tracy Martin at her home in North Liberty.
Martin is shocked to learn her daughter's teacher at LaVille spanked and slapped her after having a bathroom accident.
"The teacher was like, 'No, she going to clean this up' and forcefully making her clean up the urine off the floor. Then, the teacher proceeded to strike the girl on the face and on the bottom," Martin said.
Martin's daughter, 12-year-old Rebecca, has Sturge-Weber syndrome which leaves her with severe neurological problems. She can't speak, doesn't write and is not potty trained.
School officials confirmed a teacher's aide witnessed the whole thing and reported it to the office. Soon after, the teacher quit.
"You trust the school that they're going to hire qualified people to teach your non-verbal children, and they didn't," added Martin.
Not only is Martin upset about what happened, but that the school did not contact her until 4 hours after the incident occurred.
Principal Jeremy Tucker told WSBT News it took time to gather all the pertinent information.
Tucker said 20 minutes after being confronted with the accusations, the teacher turned in her letter of resignation.
The school then reported the abuse to Child Protective Services.
Tucker then escorted the teacher after school to get her belongings and turn in her keys.
Tucker stressed she will never teach in the district again.
But Martin says her resignation isn't enough. She's filed a police report and wants her teaching license revoked.
"Any teacher that has the ability to lose her composure that much to where she strikes a special needs, non-verbal child in the face out of aggravation should not be working with children," said Martin.
The police report is expected to be on the prosecutor's desk by Monday to review possible abuse or battery charges.
WSBT is not naming the teacher because she has not been officially charged yet.
Martin has no plans of having Rebecca return to that school after what happened. She's upset the teacher only had an "emergency license" to be able to teach that special needs class. The usual certified teacher is out on maternity leave.
School officials says they haven't had any other incidents involving the teacher that they are aware of, but they are going to be talking with parents and students to investigate if this teacher had any additional anger management issues.
Martin has also contacted an attorney.
LaVille's special needs "Life Skills" class has 8 students, one teacher and three teacher's aides.
Tucker says they have hired a retired special needs certified teacher to take over teaching the class, starting Monday.