On Tuesday, a lawsuit was filed against former Huntington High School Principal Telleuance Graham and the Caddo Parish School Board on behalf of Monica Sullivan and her son, C.T.
According to the suit, Graham and the Board not only failed to act, but helped to cover up horrific abuses suffered by C.T. Sullivan at the hands of his paraprofessional. C.T. is nonverbal and has been diagnosed as having severe autism. He requires the help of paraprofessionals to navigate school life.
According to C.T.’s mother, his paraprofessional, Marlon Jackson, beat C.T. repeatedly, used restraints without cause, punched his legs to cause cramps, and at times crushed C.T. by putting his full weight on the boy’s body. The abuses were reported to Principal Graham by another paraprofessional.
However, instead of firing Jackson, Grahm simply removed Jackson from C.T.’s care team, assigning him to another classroom; an act that put other students at risk. Graham did not notify C.T.’s mother of the physical abuse, telling her several months later only that Jackson had “been inappropriate” with her son.
Neither Graham, nor the Caddo Parish School Board further investigated the abuse allegations, nor did they report the complaint to law enforcement.
The Sullivan’s lawyer Emily Westermeier issued a statement saying:
“Principal Graham completely disregarded the rights and safety of a vulnerable student who was unable to speak up for himself. Allowing this paraprofessional to continue working at the school and preventing C.T. from getting the help he needed was absolutely irresponsible, discriminatory, and a violation of C.T.’s civil rights.”
As of Tuesday morning, officials at Huntington High School report that Jackson is still employed at the school.
Big Easy Magazine has reached out to the Caddo Parish School Board for comment.