NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)-- There are strong accusations against some educators in New Haven. A lawsuit was filed after a parent claimed that her son was bullied by his third grade teacher.
The investigation started in late 2012. The lawsuit was filed on Monday. Parents and guardians representing four children say the complaints weren't taken seriously.
"She said, 'Mom, I'm scared of him. He threw a ruler at my leg. He grabbed my arm and squeezed it," said Opel Washington.
"He'll come in my room and say I can't sleep Grandma. I'll say, 'why.' He'll say 'Mr. Weiner," said a grandmother.
Those are just some of complaints from the parents and guardians as they explain why they filed a lawsuit against the city of New Haven, the board of education, former teacher Jonathan Weiner, and Roberto Clemente school principal, Pam Franco.
News 8 was there as Attorney Patricia Cofrancesco gave the families a copy of the lawsuit.
"We believe that the board of ed was on notice about Mr. Weiner's behavior patterns and the city of New Haven, as well," said Cofrancesco.
Thinking back, Opel Washington says Jonathan Weiner's looks were deceiving.
"Not that I didn't take my child's word, I just didn't look into it enough as a parent cause I thought she was exaggerating," said Washington.
Then, back in February, she saw a parent, Glenda Harding, on News 8 claiming her son, Keaton was being bullied.
That's when she says it all made sense.
"Why is my child wetting herself everyday? It went from wetting to vomiting and when it went to the vomiting, I was like something is going on," said Washington.
They all asked their kids to tell them everything.
"He flips over my desk. He yells in my ear," said a grandmother.
When Harding hired Cofranceso months ago, she requested Weiner's records through the Board of Education.
"Initially, they failed to respond. I had to file an FOIA complaint before they responded," said Cofrancesco.
When they did, she said there were too many redactions.
"There was a prior pattern on Mr. Weiner's part," said Cofrancesco.
In Harding's case, the Department of Children and Families investigated claims of physical and emotional neglect. Those claims were substantiated and Weiner resigned.
Parents say sadly, all these examples make them not want to send their children to school. Obviously, that's not an option. Their best advice is make sure not one day goes by without asking your child questions.
"I'm so grateful for Keaton and his mom for just believing in her son. Not that I didn't believe in my child. But, for taking more time, more notice," said Washington.
The families say all of their children are in counseling and they dread the start of school Wednesday.
Both the City of New Haven and the Board of Ed say the will respond accordingly at the appropriate time since this matter is in litigation.
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