Video: NHPS paraprofessional resigns after allegedly kicking 5-year-old girl with Down syndrome


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A New Haven Public School paraprofessional has resigned after allegedly kicking a student with special needs.

The incident happened in March at Nathan Hale School.

A witness came forward and said they saw the paraprofessional kick the nonverbal 5-year-old girl, who has Down syndrome, while she was sitting on the ground.

The girl’s mother, Luvena Jones, said she went to the school and tried to get the surveillance footage but was unsuccessful. That’s when she got an attorney and reached out to News 8.

Six months later, school officials released the footage.

In the video, the woman appears to kick and push the girl with her foot.

“She forcefully kicked her with her foot,” Jones said. “She shoved her, kicked her, pushed her — whatever you wanna call it — with her foot so that when she pushed her she still kept on moving.”

School officials would not identify the woman but said she is no longer employed at the school. So far, she is not facing any charges.

Jones said she’s upset that the aide was able to resign without a “mark on her record.” However, Jones’ attorney, Randi Calabrese, said the woman has been investigated by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) before.

“You investigate and you take action, what you don’t do is allow the teacher or paraprofessional to come back to the school a month later before DCF has completed an investigation,” Calabrese said. “DCF has recommended that after their investigation that this paraprofessional get more training. Apparently, this isn’t the first incident like this in which she has been involved. So how much more training does she need? Do you need training to not kick children?”

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