Teacher, aide on leave after dragging student through school


A teacher and teacher's aide are on paid administrative leave and under investigation after video shows them dragging a student with autism in the school.

Playing with his toys Thursday, 7-year-old Corbin Kemle was the model of a well-behaved boy. Even his mother admits he's not always so angelic.

"If it's something out of routine or if he's hungry or tired, he's real short."

Bonnie McKean says sometimes, his outbursts turn physical.

"He will hit, he will kick. scream, throw things. And then it's really hard and it's really a challenge. I'm his mom, I know."

Corbin has autism. Bonnie says that requires a calm, measured response, even in his bad moments.

"We have to keep ourselves calm. The calmer we are, the quicker it will end. And then once he calms down you can completely reason with him."

Corbin's teacher and teacher's aide are trained in de-escalation techniques specific to him. But that's not what Bonnie saw in school security video from May 8th.

According to school records, the teacher's aide said Corbin was misbehaving on the playground. When she tried to correct him, she says he began hitting, kicking and trying to bite.

She and a teacher decided to take him to the office, which is when school cameras picked up their interaction with Corbin.

The video shows Corbin defying his teacher and aide, and dropping himself to the floor. They pick him up by his arms and ankles, and then his teacher drags him by the foot.

"Shock. I just couldn't catch my breath," said Bonnie of when she saw the video. "My heart broke, and I was mad. I was mad because I trusted these people. I trusted them with him all school year. I trusted that they wouldn't hurt my child."

Crestline Schools Superintendent Noreen Mullens says she was also shocked.

"Carrying a child by their hands and their legs, that's not appropriate. Dragging a child, not appropriate," Mullens said. "It can be dangerous to the child. And our primary concern is the safety of the child, no matter what."

Mullens says the only person injured in the ordeal was the teacher's aide, who got a black eye from Corbin's head hitting her. But she says that doesn't change her bottom line.

"It is the same for all students: you don't touch children, you don't forcefully move them. It's just not appropriate. Even if they're being physically defiant."

She put the teacher and aide on immediate paid leave. Corbin's mom wants them charged criminally.

"They dragged my child on his face. That isn't their child. If I were to do that to him, on the sidewalk or in public, I would be reported for child abuse."

Crawford County Prosecutor Matt Crall told 10TV he looked into the case but decided it didn't meet the bar for felony charges.

It will now go to the village prosecutor for consideration of misdemeanor charges. The school district says it is now beginning the disciplinary phase of its investigation.

In the meantime, the teacher and aide will stay on paid leave.

Mullens says teacher Hannah Ruth and Aide Heather Gregory have been good employees, with no history of problems. 10TV was not able to reach either of them for comment.

The Ohio Department of Education is also investigating.

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