With the filing of a federal lawsuit Wednesday, a horrific child abuse scandal burst into public view in the Antioch school district, involving three autistic students who allegedly were slapped, pinched and verbally abused by a teacher — and school officials who failed to report the accusations to police as the law requires.
The incidents, which bear a sad similarity to others that have come to light around the Bay Area in recent months, have already forced the accused teacher’s resignation and compelled a criminal investigation into the abuse claims. And now the district’s leadership stands accused by the students’ parents of creating a hostile environment that violated the autistic children’s civil rights.
Documents show the Antioch district’s own investigation of the concerns about teacher Theresa Allen-Caulboy ramped up only after this newspaper first reported on a similar abuse situation in Brentwood, where a convicted child abuser was allowed to continue teaching special needs students. A classroom aide to Allen-Caulboy cited the newspaper report as her impetus for reporting the abuse allegations.