Autistic Child Injured After Teacher Forcibly Drags Him Down Hall

Autistic Child Injured After Teacher Forcibly Drags Him Down Hall January 8, 2019

A Kentucky mother shared a disturbing video on Facebook of her 9-year-old son being dragged down the hallway by his teacher. Angel Nelson said the teacher restrained, pushed, and dragged her son by the arm causing sprains to both hands and bruising. Following the videos upload the school fired the teacher, and police arrested her on fourth-degree assault.

Angel Nelson shared the video earlier this week of a disturbing video of her son. Along with the video, Angel penned an emotional plea for help in bringing the teacher to justice.

“I’m taking this public for help and advice. We as parents trust teachers and school staff on a daily basis to help teach and help our children succeed. We should never have to worry about anything like this ever happening.

On Wednesday, October 24, 2018 Wurtland Elementary school in Greenup County, Kentucky filed an incident report involving my son and the resource teacher, Mrs. Trina Abrams.”

Nelson continued that her 9-year-old son is autistic and has ADHD. As a part of his diagnosis, her son suffers emotional melt-downs that can be challenging to manage. Additionally, Nelson says her son has difficulty with communication and limited speech.

When she enrolled her son into school, the district set up an IEP for him to accommodate his needs. The teacher told Nelson that she had a lot of experience with autistic children. Nelson said after meeting Trina Abrams she felt safe sending her child to school.

However, her impression of Abrams changed after an incident in October. While her son experienced a meltdown in school, Abrams became violent with her son. Angel said,

“Mrs. Abrams forcefully grabbed my son by the wrist and bent it backward while he was experiencing a meltdown (which he sometimes experiences as part of his diagnoses). After he let go of the chair, she grabbed him by the wrist and drug him down the hallway from one classroom into another, according to school video footage.

The camera within the classroom had previously been turned towards the corner, so unfortunately there is no video in the classroom. According to my son, she threw him hard down onto a chair. Beyond this, we will never truly know what took place behind that closed door because of my son’s speech limitations.”

Footage taken via surveillance cameras show Abrams dragging Nelson’s son by the wrist. Nelson’s son lays limply on the floor as she drags him up and down the hallway. While Abrams pulled the boy, numerous children walked by and watched the incident transpire.

When Nelson learned of the incident, she said she immediately took her son to the hospital. Doctors diagnosed her son with a possible fracture in his left wrist. Additionally, her son suffered bruising and swelling on both arms.

As a result of his injuries, Nelson says her son will need occupational therapy to help restore his fine motor skills. She said he struggles to tie his shoes, write, and button his pants.

Nelson ended her update by asking for help from others in exposing the abuse and helping her son receive justice for the abuse.

“Mrs. Abrams, considers herself to be completely innocent. She claimed she was preventing him from harming himself but it doesn’t line up with his actions from the video. My son deserves justice. I feel as though Mrs. Abrams should be held accountable for her actions.

It is my belief that all schools should be required to have cameras in place (that can not be turned to a corner) in order to protect students and teachers. Also all schools should have more training for teachers to handle children with disabilities and to learn proper protocol to retrain and redirect if needed.

There should also be more laws in place for any child, like my son who are abused by the adults we entrust to care for them. The fact that my son is not able to fully verbalize what he went through means that we must fight that much harder for all kids, but especially the kids who cannot speak for themselves.”

Since uploading the video and post about her son’s abuse, the school district responded to the allegations. In a statement to the media which said,

“The Greenup County School District prioritizes the safety of our students. The district followed established safety protocol as soon as this situation became known. The parent was contacted immediately and the student was assessed by the school nurse and referred for outside medical evaluation.

Child Protective Services was contacted and the Kentucky State Police opened an investigation. The teacher was removed from the school and a formal investigation was conducted. The superintendent also followed protocol and reported the incident to the Kentucky Education Standards Board.

The EPSB determines whether or not a teacher keeps their teaching certificate. All GCSD staff are trained to prevent incidents of restraint. Each school has a specially trained team to address immediate issues. In addition, each school has teachers specially trained to address autism related behaviors.”

Law enforcement followed up with an investigation into the incident. A source connected to the Greenup County Courthouse told WSAZ that Abrams’ arraignment for fourth-degree assault is on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.

Despite the current allegations against the teacher, her teaching license is still active. There is no disciplinary action indicated on her license report. The state has not said if Abrams will lose her teaching license as a result of the incident.

The boy’s stepfather, Caleb Nelson, told WSAZ that he hopes Abrams receives jail time for the assault. Caleb said losing her job isn’t enough punishment for what she did to his stepson.

“I think she should possibly face the inside of a jail,” he said. “She didn’t beat him to a bloody pulp, but she did abuse a child. Anybody that does that to a child should go to jail.”

Watch the video below of the incident:

*Katie Joy is a blogger and freelance writer. Her work is featured on Upworthy, Huffington Post, Yahoo Parents, Mamamia, Daily Beast, Cafe Stir, Newsweek, Jezebel, and The Daily Mail. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • That is unbelievable. What in that teacher’s mind gave her any notion that this is an appropriate way to treat someone?

  • Chris Hogue

    Someone should rent an excavator and drag her ass.

  • WallofSleep

    “Watch the video below of the incident…”

    My blood pressure is high enough, thanks. If this were my child… well, this is one of the reasons I don’t have children. Whatever it is that attracts abusive authoritarians to law enforcement must also attract them to teaching positions. I had many teachers like that growing up, but unfortunately I grew up in a family that revered authority and believed it could do no wrong. No matter what happened, clearly I had to have done something wrong enough to deserve such punishment. And you better believe I got more of the same when I got home from school.

    And people wonder why I have such an anti-authoritarian streak.

  • Jim Jones

    Is it really a good idea to try to mainstream all kids into regular schools?

  • starmom

    Your whataboutism is noted.

  • Jim Jones


  • Banrion

    Because children were never abused when warehoused in asylums?

  • Jim Jones

    Those are the only alternatives?

  • Banrion

    You were the one to blame mainstreaming as if it has anything at all to do with this incident. Since I don’t think mainstreaming was the issue, I don’t feel a need to solve that ‘problem.’

  • Jim Jones

    You said there were only two alternatives.

    I see a teacher who can’t cope with an autistic child. This is in a starved system with sub standard teacher pay.

    And yet you expect perfect outcomes while refusing to pay for such. No wonder Finland does so much better than the US.

  • Banrion

    You make many assumptions and put a lot of words in my mouth that I never said.

  • Carmen Gonzales

    I would love to know what you all think she should have done? He was obviously disrupting the class and refusing to walk himself, She didn’t hurt him , so.. what would you have done?

  • Raging Bee

    Well, the fact that this sort of thing doesn’t seem to happen regularly, kind of implies most teachers do something different. Perhaps you should start by asking THEM what they normally do in similar situations…

  • Chandra0327

    “When Nelson learned of the incident, she said she immediately took her son to the hospital. Doctors diagnosed her son with a possible fracture in his left wrist. Additionally, her son suffered bruising and swelling on both arms.

    As a result of his injuries, Nelson says her son will need occupational therapy to help restore his fine motor skills. She said he struggles to tie his shoes, write, and button his pants.”

    Yes, she did hurt him. If she couldn’t get a handle on him herself, then she needed to call the office to get a resource teacher (or whatever they call the teachers who are specially trained to deal with special needs students). Dragging him around the halls was absolutely the wrong thing to do.

  • she did hurt him…

  • baileylamb

    “Regular” kids do the same thing (at this age). There have been at least 3 “regular” kids who have had melt downs and refused to leave the classroom. Somehow, my son’s teachers are able to resolve the situation w/out dragging the children down the hall.

    Kids melt down, I’m sure you probably did. And the only reason I didn’t melt down at school was because I was already jaded, and deathly afraid of my parents.

  • baileylamb

    No, this is a teacher who can’t deal.with young children. Many people cant, it’s okay to accept your limitations.

  • Jim Jones

    > I’m sure you probably did.

    Nope. I just accepted the world as it was. Only later did I figure out how much bullshit I had been fed by people who were ignorant and uninterested.

  • baileylamb

    Well ok, but my point still stands, it isn’t uncommon for “regular” kids in that age group, to be little poops.

  • this isn’t a regular kid. It’s a severely autistic boy

  • baileylamb

    Not severely autistic, (that we know of) and the comment I was replying to acted as if kids don’t act like this. They do (many of them)!

  • autism, adhd, anxiety, etc. plus limited communication skills…..this isn’t a typical kid. I’m a parent of an autistic boy. So if you are going to blame this on kids being kids – seriously get off this page.

  • An autism meltdown is nothing like a typical kid. I live them daily

  • baileylamb

    I’m not blaming the child at all. I’m blaming the adult, and responding to a comment that claims that this is what happens when you mainstream autistic children.

  • Positivist

    I’m not defending the activity here, but I think I understand it.

    Frankly, I don’t know how teachers handle any of the stuff they face on a daily basis, and for such crappy pay (which is further diluted by all the prep and marking on evenings and weekends). Teachers today have much more stuff to deal with (I think) than when I was younger–autism, allergies, behaviours, guns, etc. How is it even possible for teachers to know how to handle all types of disabilities and oddities that exist in their classrooms? The size of classrooms (number of students) is always increasing. Kids with special needs don’t always have a special education assistant to help them. I just don’t know how teachers do their jobs and I take my hat off to all of them.

    I once lost my sh*t on the job and held onto a patient too tightly for about 2 seconds because I was irate. Although no one was hurt (THANKFULLY), I took this bad behaviour as a message that I should move onto a different area of work. I gave my notice the next day and never looked back.

  • Jim Jones

    Or for teachers to lose their shit although most manage to avoid it.

  • this was a special education teacher – not a regular teacher. She’s trained to manage this behavior

  • Positivist

    Wow. I got nothin. She needs to resign and do something completely different with her life.

  • Anat

    Yes it is. But they need properly trained staff to support each child according to their needs. Sometimes that would be a part time or full time aide, sometimes the kid spends part of their time at the resource room where they learn better skills to deal with classroom situations. A small number of kids need more support than that, but even for kids who are in self-contained special-ed programs the goal is to gradually increase the time they spend in a mainstream environment. Which is where they will be spending their time once they finish school.

    My son was in such a special ed class, but as he learned better self-management he was mainstreamed for more of his day. By the end of 9th grade he exited special ed altogether. Now he is a junior in college and doing great.

  • Jim Jones

    Yes. School doesn’t really suit most kids, IMO. There’s an implication that it will work for everyone, from the smartest to the dullest. Most of us know, after many years, that this is not true.

    Some need a lot more. Some just need to be pointed in the right direction.

  • Termagant

    If you’re going to troll, at least attempt to be clever about it. Or perhaps read the entire article before leaving a comment.