CHESAPEAKE, Va. — A Chesapeake public school teacher is on paid administrative leave amid an investigation by school leaders over allegations of abuse against three special needs students.
Chesapeake mothers, Elizabeth Leemon and Yolanda Myrick, said they were living in a nightmare.
Myrick’s 11-year-old daughter, Milan, is wheelchair-bound and verbally mute. Myrick claims her daughter faced verbal and physical abuse by a teacher at Chesapeake’s Grassfield Elementary School.
“We made an active decision to send our child to a public-school building with the trust and belief that she would be better off there than anywhere else in the world," Myrick said. “I feel like it’s a nightmare and I’m waiting to wake up. Complete nightmare.”
Leemon said that same teacher also abused her 11-year-old daughter, Christina. She said another staff member told her details about the alleged abuse.
“I just can’t believe it. We trusted this person for five years," Leemon said. “I was told that it was physical abuse as far as popping her in the month. I was told that the teacher had a spray bottle of water that she would keep in a cart and she would spray these kids in the face with the water bottle when they got too excited. She told me that the teacher would squeeze my daughter's mouth and scream at her face.”
School administrators found out about the allegations on May 27, according to a statement from a Chesapeake Public Schools spokesperson.
The statement reads: “On May 27, 2022, school administrators received a report of alleged abuse from a teacher towards three students. The teacher in question was immediately placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation and a report to Child Protective Services was made. This remains an ongoing investigation and we are unable to provide additional comment as a result. Further action will be considered as appropriate."
Myrick and Leemon claim that, at the time, school leaders never told them about the investigation. Myrick said she found out about the allegations on June 16, after a teaching staff member told her.
Leemon said the school’s principal reached out to her Tuesday to say a teacher is being investigated.
Myrick and Leemon said the teacher facing the accusations has taught their children since kindergarten.