Macomb teacher charged with abusing nonverbal autistic students
Detroit Free Press - 2/9/2018
Feb. 09--A former Macomb County teacher has been accused of verbally and physically abusing elementary-aged autistic students.
Brittany Stevens, 28, of Mt. Clemens, was arraigned this week on three counts of second-degree child abuse, a 10-year felony.
Stevens was employed by the Macomb Intermediate School District and taught at Sequoyah Elementary, which is part of Chippewa Valley Schools. The intermediate school district rents space at the school, one of several sites throughout the county where it holds its autism program.
The Macomb County Sheriff's Office received a complaint on Jan. 2 that Stevens was inappropriately disciplining students, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.
The investigation revealed that Stevens verbally and physically abused nonverbal, autistic students who were 8 and 9 years old, according to the sheriff's office. The abuse was not sexual.
"The student victims are all in good health at this time and received no serious injuries," the news release said.
Detectives spoke with several district employees who witnessed the incidents and brought them to the attention of school officials, the sheriff's office said.
All of the victims' parents have been notified.
"The MISD's first priority is for the safety and welfare of our students and families. As a result of our internal investigation, assisted by legal counsel, we have discharged the teacher," MISD Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Operations David Rilley said in the release.
The district's attorney, Gary Collins, said: "The MISD administration responded promptly and appropriately to protect students. We are pleased that law enforcement has acted so quickly."
Stevens was arraigned Wednesday in 41-A District Court in Shelby Township. She was released on a $10,000 personal bond.
Stevens is due back in court at 1:30 p.m.March 1 for a probable cause conference.
Contact staff writer Ann Zaniewski at 313-222-6594 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @AnnZaniewski.
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