Alleged Elementary School Abuse in Cherry Valley

March 16, 2005--Posted at 6:00 p.m. CST

CHERRY VALLEY-- A Region 8 family is outraged after their 5-year-old child was subjected to alleged abuse at Cherry Valley Elementary School.

Cross County School District Attorney Don Mixon says, "The allegations were that the child had behavior problems and that he'd not adjusted well and that we'd not handled it appropriately. We don't agree that that's the case and the hearing officer found that wasn't the case."

But the parents said the issues were much deeper than the child's ADD which was discussed in the due process hearing. That's why they've appealed the decision in federal court.

The child's father, Alan Rodgers says, "He has been chased through the halls and held down by three teachers. He was held on the playground so tight that the teacher's watch cut his wrist. The principal told me he saw the blood on the watch."

Mr. Rodgers alleged the child was paddled nearly everyday, but there is no way for him to know exactly how many times because he never received notification and the school principal claimed he had lost the child's records.

He said that he received a shocking letter after his child was suspended during the first few weeks of school.

"The teacher gave us the letter saying that she'd been given permission to slap him and that was what she was going to do," Rodgers says.

Rodgers said that he was outraged by the school's actions and by his son's change in behavior.

"He told us, you know, just don't feed me. He wanted to die. I was thinking, he's only five years old," Rodgers says.

Despite the Rodgers' family determination to seek justice for their son, the schools' attorney says he feels comfortable that they will win the appeal.

"We feel very good about the position of the school. We have very good professionals at the school and feel that they acted appropriately," Mixon says.