Police, DCS Investigate Possible Abuse At Local High School
by Chris Conte
PLEASANT VIEW, Tenn. - Pleasant View Police and the Tennessee Department of Children's Service are investigating claims that three special ed students were abused over the last few months.
The allegations stem from an incident which occurred on August 30, involving a 20-year-old special education student.
"The whole purpose of my job and their jobs is to teach and protect the children and that's not what's going on. They're not being protected," said Pam Butterworth, who was let go by the Cheatham County School District a few weeks ago.
Pam was a teacher's aide with the district for over 20 years. Her primary job was to take care of Tyler Tucker who has severr mental and physical disabilities. She said a few months ago she was called into a meeting with school and district officials and during that meeting she was told to leave Tyler outside in the hallway. During that time she said Tyler started having trouble breathing.
"(Someone in the meeting) started screaming, you're walking out, you're walking out on this meeting? I said, 'I will be right back, I've got to get him on the ventilator," said said.
Tyler was OK, but a few weeks later, Pam was let go.
"Now that I've done this interview the door will always be shut on working in Cheatham County, because I'll be black listed and called a disgruntled employee," she explains.
And it appears there may be other incidents involving the mistreatment and possible abuse of special education students that officials are looking in to.
"We're looking into a couple of different situations," said Pleasant View Police Chief Michael Douglas.
The chief can't comment on too many specifics, only that a police report has been filed on behalf of Tyler and they are also looking into allegations that someone at Sycamore High School mistreated two other students.
"Just like anybody else, we just want to ensure the safety of the students," he added.
District officials said Pam Butterworth is only a disgruntled employee looking to get attention. They said no parents need to be concerned about the safety of their children at the high school.
"Everybody is working to make sure the students are safe and that they're well cared for," one official said in a statement.
The Department of Children's Services also told NewsChannel 5 they have an active investigation concerning the whole situation.