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Teacher attacked autistic student at Clermont County school, lawsuit alleges

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Posted at 7:00 PM, Oct 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-26 19:00:35-04

CINCINNATI -- An autistic teen and his mother are claiming the boy's former teacher physically attacked him twice in a lawsuit filed against the school in federal court Wednesday.

The teen, unidentified by name in the lawsuit because he's 16, has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Pervasic Developmental Disorder, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Mixed Adjustment Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges that the teen's then-teacher at Clermont Educational Collaborative -- North in the 2015-16 school year attacked him two times.

The first alleged incident was in October 2015, during an argument between the teen and an aide in a hallway at the school. The complaint accuses the teacher of physically attacking the teen, and states that the principal and another teacher had to pull the teacher off the student.

School officials didn't inform the teen's mother of the incident, according to the lawsuit.

The second alleged incident was in February, when the teen left the teacher's classroom without permission, according to the complaint. It alleges that he "charged out of the classroom, jumped on top of [the teen] and proceeded to strike [him] multiple times with his fists."

After that, a classroom aide contacted children's services about the two alleged incidents, according to the complaint.

Clermont County Educational Service Center Superintendent Jeff Weir said he was aware of situation involving the teen, but the school reacted "in an immediate and appropriate fashion." He had not yet seen the lawsuit.

The teacher is no longer employed by the school, according to Weir.

"We handled it in an immediate, serious and appropriate manner," he said.

The lawsuit states that the teen "suffered emotional distress" and began having nightmares as a result of the alleged incidents.

Attorney Rick Ganulin, who represents the teen and his mother, said the teen's behavior was predictable for a child with his conditions.

"It's a shock to his system to its very core and causes all kinds of emotional pain, suffering and distress, and need for therapy," he said.

The mother pulled the teen out of the school, Ganulin said. He's now receiving home instruction.