VIDEO: Grandmother of 11-year-old special needs student beaten at Aldine ISD school said staff failed to intervene, wants them fired

HUMBLE – The grandmother of an 11-year-old Aldine ISD wants the principal and three teacher aides at Marine Jones Middle School fired.

Veda Cavitt said the three aides watched as her grandson Sekai was beaten for several seconds before anyone intervened.

“I need them removed,” Cavitt said. “I need them removed. They serve no purpose here. They serve no purpose here. They cannot do their job.”

The video shows a boy in a blue shirt getting pushed to the ground, and then a person in a gray shirt taking swings at him. Seconds later, the boy in the blue appears to be crawling before he started getting kicked.

The boy is 11-year-old Sekai. He has autism, is non-verbal and has an intellectual disability. The district said he and other students seen in the video were leaving P.E. when the incident happened.

In a statement, the district said all three teacher aides in the video are trained and have been at Jones Middle for four years.

“Special Needs Students have Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs). They are specific to the individual child’s needs based on their disability,” the school district wrote. “Their specific plans are protected because they are Special Education students.”

Special needs child advocate, Cynthia Singleton, with Advocate Well, said the needs of both boys were ignored.

“There are supposed to be behavior goals that are in place that prevent any kind of aggressive behavior,” said Singleton. “The fact that it got this far shows that the school cannot provide the support that the student needs.”

She became an advocate after her own son, with autism, wasn’t getting the support she believed he deserved. Singleton now advocates for other parents, “teaches online courses, and private case management for families with kids newly diagnosed with autism or transitioning to adulthood.”

Singleton says when the taller student became aggressive, the adults should have stood on either side of his arms, “and they bend them forward so that he can’t engage what he’s doing. But from what I saw, neither of the aides present looked like they had the physical strength to be actually able to do that.”

Singleton said if the teacher aids followed their training, the incident never would have happened.

Cavitt said she simply can’t pull Sekai out of Jones Middle School because it would be too disruptive.

“Change is not good for him. It’s not easy for him,” Cavitt said.

“We have an 11-year-old African American, special needs, non-verbal child that was in attendance at Jones Middle School and he was brutally assaulted by another child in the hallway,” said Dr. Candice Matthews, statewide steering committee chair for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. “We have adults that are just sitting here watching this brutal attack happen amongst students,” said Matthews. “That is unacceptable.”

When KPRC 2 showed the video to some people in the community, they, too, wanted to know about the adults.

“What kind of security do they have? What was the staff doing while this was happening?” asked Russell Parker, a Humble resident.

Aldine ISD didn’t say why things got physical in the first place but said it’s aware of an incident that occurred between two SLC, or Structured Learning Classroom, students at Jones Middle School on Jan. 25.

“Because SLC students deal with serious cognitive issues, behavioral interventions have been put in place in lieu of traditional disciplinary action,” the school district said in a statement. “In addition, the three aides who did not intervene were disciplined according to district protocol. Aldine ISD takes these situations seriously as the safety and security of our students and staff are our top priority.”

It’s not known if the child suffered any physical injuries.

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