Special needs teacher Katherine Dorn Durden still free to teach at Roswell High school despite allegations and overwhelming evidence that abuse by her led to young Hatcher's death.
November 14, 2012 (Newswire) - Ronald Hatcher and his wife Arthelia, filed a $10.5million lawsuit against Fulton county schools in early 2011 claiming teachers 'repeatedly abused' their 18-year-old special needs child which eventually led to his death.
Aaron Hatcher, who had muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy, could not speak or walk. His father Ronald, from Atlanta, Georgia, claims Roswell High School teacher Katherine Dorn Durden forced the teen to wear a homemade neck brace, causing physical and mental suffering.
The father's attorney, Trey Sauls, said the tightened brace obstructed Aaron's breathing and contributed to his death.
The Courthouse News Service details (http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/03/05/44396.htm) the lawsuit's account of the alleged abuse.
'[The teacher] fastened this neck brace not for any medical reason, but to force his neck in a position to look at her,' Mr Sauls told WSBTV.com.
'In turning his head in this position, it restricted his airway,' he added. 'In essence, it stopped him from breathing.'
Mr Hatcher said he notified school officials and the school board about the use of the unapproved neck brace but the teacher continued to force him to wear it.
'I wanted it to stop. I even said in my email, "If you don't stop this, he's going to die." They did nothing,' he added.
Mr Hatcher said Aaron had breathing difficulties because of the restraint, which led to several emergency room trips. On March 19, after being released from hospital, the teen died at home.
According to the lawsuit, which names 24 defendants including the school district, Aaron also suffered abuse at Hopewell Middle School from 2005 to 2007. The allegations include assault and battery, false imprisonment, negligent hiring, negligent supervision, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil rights violations.
It's been almost 1 year since Fulton county DA Paul Howard took over the case and many are upset because there still has yet to be an arrest or firing for that matter, despite the overwhelming evidence.
Hatcher spoke with CBS Atlanta 46 anchor Jeff Chirico today and discussed the maltreatment of disabled youth in Fulton County Schools, his son, the undeniable evidence and how his family is coping with young Aarons death.
The complete interview airs tonight at 11pm EST on CBS Atlanta - channel 46.