A Texas special education teacher stands accused of stuffing an autistic child in a filing cabinet, pulling hair from another child’s scalp, and calling her students “retarded.” Julie Gosch, 47, has since resigned from Juan Seguin Elementary in Fort Bend, on the southwest outskirts of Houston.
“This is a shocking case,” Clint McGuire, the attorney representing two families suing Gosch, told the Houston Chronicle. “When you have kids that don’t speak for themselves, they become an easy target.”
Two teacher’s aides who worked with Gosch turned her in to school administrators by forwarding emails that Gosch had sent to them. In the emails, Gosh called her students “retarded” and instructed the aides on how to hit students while making it look like an accident.
The mother of one of the students, Flor Nelson, described to AOL Jobs the phone call she received from the school’s principal about an “incident” where her child was put in a filing cabinet. The principal offered few details.
“I guess I didn’t understand that literally she was putting her in a filing cabinet drawer and closing it,” she said.
A subsequent investigation revealed allegations that Nelson’s child’s filing cabinet experience was just one of many.
“These are two non-verbal autistic 9-year-old girls,” McGuire said. “So they would never be able to communicate what happened.”
McGuire said he believes the abuse began when Gosch began taking prescription medication to cope with her father’s death last year. He said that she sometimes took pills in front of her class, began slurring her speech, and generally behaving erratically.
Gosch has never before come under disciplinary review in nearly a decade at the school.