Video of child attacked by teacher's aide leads to federal lawsuit

Attorneys for the family of a special needs nine-year-old boy seen on video being attacked by a teacher’s aide filed a lawsuit Friday in federal court.
The family is suing the school, Tobinworld and the Oakland Unified School District, which placed the boy there.

Tobinworld Two in Antioch, where the attack took place, closed in June.
"There was a climate of excessive force," said one of the family's attorneys Todd Boley.
Also named in the lawsuit are Kamaljot Kaur, the teacher’s aide in the video, taken in January, and another staff member for not reporting the incident.
Kaur pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery in June and received a sentence of three years’ probation.

"If there is not a directive from the top to discourage abuse then it will continue to occur and that is what happened here," said Boley.

The boy’s grandmother, Rosalind Calloway, issued a statement saying “It’s still hard for him to understand that teachers at school are not there to hurt him, that it is the teacher's job to help him learn and to protect him from anything bad happening to him. Right now, that's still hard for him to believe but we have hope."
"He has now apparently been placed in a school with other kids who were in his class at Tobinworld who watched him being abused. So he's doing very poorly," said family attorney Peter Alfert.

Tobinworld did not return our calls seeking comment.  A spokesman for the Oakland Unified School District said.

"We have not yet been served with the lawsuit and we are not surprised there would be a lawsuit in the case."

"We're hoping this case serves as a model to school districts that are placing special needs children in private placements and not providing oversight for those children," said Alfert.

Attorneys say abuse and other problems at Tobinworld Two had been going on for years, but it was the video that shined a light on what happened there.