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Portland, OR: Elem teacher suing over attacks from SPED students

July 1, 2019, KOIN6, Portland, OR: Special ed teacher sues over student-inflicted injuries—Incident reportedly happened at Sabin Elementary PORTLAND, Ore.— Portland Public Schools faces a new lawsuit from a special education teacher who says she was injured on the job by students. A complaint filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court alleges the district was negligent and failed to provide proper resources and protections, such as protective gear, for a teacher hired to work with young students at Sabin Elementary School. Additionally, plaintiff Theresa Demma says the district downplayed the severity of the students’ behavior, causing her to be physically assaulted by students on a regular basis. The complaint seeks $700,500 for negligence, battery, hostile work environment, whistleblower and worker’s compensation retaliation, disability discrimination and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Demma’s lawsuit outlines repeated incidents of the plaintiff and colleagues being punched, kicked and spit on, leaving injuries and, in one instance, requiring a teacher to receive medical attention. “One of the students in plaintiff’s classroom became very violent and was attacking one of the paraeducators,” the complaint states. “The student chased the paraeducator down the hall and into the principal’s office and proceeded to punch her in the back of the head so severely that she needed medical attention. The principal’s office had to be locked down, the police were called, and the student was placed into temporary in-patient treatment.” Incidents like the one described above have become common anecdotes among special education teachers and aides. Demma’s lawsuit isn’t the first against PPS over alleged abuse of aides and teachers…. “Plaintiff soon learned that the students in the classroom were high needs students with aggressive violent outbursts, many of whom were supposed to have one-on-one support but did not get that support met by defendant PPS,” Demma’s lawsuit claims. …

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