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School Staff Member Accused Of Assaulting Developmentally Disabled Student

UPDATED: Thursday December 12, 2013 12:12 AM

A staff member at a school for developmentally disabled children is on paid leave after allegedly assaulting a student.

It happened at the Forest Rose School in Lancaster.

Fairfield County Board of Developmental Disabilities Superintendent, John Pekar, said a teacher filed the report about another staff member, who is an educational program specialist. People in that position typically help teachers with curriculum and student behavior. Now, it's this staff member's behavior that is under investigation.

10TV spoke with the family affected by the alleged actions. Mohamed Waes tells us 18-year-old Fartun has struggled with developmental disabilities since birth, but with daily schooling, he says she's getting better.

"I love her. I just want to know that she's safe if she's away from us, or any one of us," says Waes.

He says the allegations about the staff member's actions is cause for concern.

According to a Lancaster police report, a staff member at Forest Rose School pushed the teenager down in her chair and then when her behavioral issue continued, she "pushed her down onto the floor and told her that's what you get."

"For us, this was out of the blue," said Fairfield County Board of Developmental Disabilities Superintendent, John Pekar.

Pekar, who oversees this school, says he takes these allegations seriously.

"There is nothing that anybody we support that should provoke someone to lay hands on them to potentially cause them injury. There is no degree of provocation that is acceptable," said Pekar.

He says his staff is required to come forward with major unusual incidents. He says he's devastated, if in fact, he finds these reports are reality.

"We made a commitment to Fartun, and I personally told the staff that I was making a commitment to Fartun, to say that we are going to assist her in any way we can," said Pekar.

Fartun's brother says his family just wants answers.

"I just hope that we can send her to school and that she can interact with her teachers, and other staff members, and she can feel safe and we can feel safe that she's there," said Waes.

The superintendent says the staff member was immediately put on paid administrative leave when the allegations came forward.

He says outside investigators are now closely looking at the case.

Stay with 10TV and 10TV.com for updates.

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