Special education teacher's assistant accused of kicking teen in wheelchair
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WJAR) —
A Middletown High School special education teacher's assistant is on paid, administrative leave after being accused of kicking a 16-year-old boy in a wheelchair.
Two teaching assistants told Middletown police that Stephanie Laroque, 44, kicked the student as they were going down the hallway last Tuesday, outside of the cafeteria.
The two aides told police that Larqoue was upset the boy wasn't moving quickly enough and told him to go faster.
According to the police report, it appeared the teen ignored Laroque's request or wasn't able to go any faster due to his disability. Two school employees told police that’s when Laroque lifted her foot and kicked the teen to try to hurry him up.
The Middletown police report describes the teen as being "non verbal."
Witnesses said afterward, the boy was upset and was making noises and shaking.
The two teaching assistants said Laroque had recently complained about having to work with the boy one-on-one.
The teen's mother told Middletown police she wanted criminal charges filed against Laroque.
In a statement, the superintendent of Middletown Public Schools, Rosemarie Kraeger, said the district followed mandatory reporting protocols.
“We called DCYF, the police and secured written statements from those that witnessed the incident," Kraeger said. "The parent was notified immediately as well. The safety and well being of our students is always our number one priority. The police arrested the teacher assistant at her home. This is now a police investigation. This is a personnel issue and I cannot comment any further on the matter.”
Laroque was arrested at her home last week. She was charged with simple assault.
Middletown police would not release her mugshot.