Former Aldine ISD teacher, teacher’s aide accused of abusing 2 children with autism, court docs say

HOUSTON – A former Aldine ISD teacher and teacher’s aide who are accused of abusing two children with autism have been charged, court documents said.

According to court documents, the investigation began when the parents of one of the children notified the principal at Raymond Academy and said they believe something was happening to their child at school.

While investigating the claim, the principal checked surveillance cameras and then contacted the police. Maria Guadalupe Gonzalez-Valencia, 22, is a special education teacher’s aide and has been charged with one count of felony injury to a child under 15.

Maria Guadalupe Gonzalez-Valencia, 22 (KPRC 2)

According to court documents, Gonzalez-Valencia assaulted a 6-year-old non-verbal student by striking him with an unknown object. She is being held on a $30,000, court records said.

Britnee Vaughn, 35, is a special education teacher in the same class and was charged with two counts of felony injury to a child under 15.

Britnee Vaughn, 35 (KPRC 2)

Vaughn is accused of assaulting two special needs children. Court documents said she kicked and grabbed the same 6-year-old student and pulled another 9-year-old up from the floor by his ear. Her bond is set at $100,000.

“When I tell you my heart fell to my stomach because right then I started thinking of all these things that didn’t make sense to me the entire time,” said Brittani DeJohn, mother of four.

DeJohn said she was stunned to see her son Noah’s former first-grade teacher and teacher aide’s mug shots on the news. DeJohn said she took her 7-year-old son, who is non-verbal and has autism, out of Raymond Elementary School in December after only five months at the school. She claims her son would come home flinching, with bruises, a cut on his forehead, a scab on his ears and even had a black eye before.

“Ms. Vaugh said he hit his face at the corner of the table and I was like ‘oh my God,’” DeJohn said, referring to Noah’s black eye. “She said he was running and playing and ran right into the table.”

DeJohn took Noah to the hospital for the cut on his forehead, where he was given three stitches. She said it took more than a week for the school to give her an incident report, in which the document reads Noah fell during recess and hit his head on a bed. She said it’s a different story than what she was told.

“They told me that they had indoor recess in the cafeteria and that Noah was running around like all the other children. Well that he had slid under one of the lunch tables and hit the foldable metal part and that is why it gashed open,” DeJohn said.

DeJohn said she’s meeting with the school on Wednesday to review surveillance videos of the incidents.

Aldine ISD released the following statement:

“Aldine ISD is aware of an incident at Raymond Elementary School in which a teacher and a paraprofessional made inappropriate physical contact with two special needs students. Once the school was made aware of this incident, CPS and Aldine ISD PD were immediately contacted and an investigation was initiated. The Aldine ISD PD turned their findings over to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and charges have been filed against both individuals. Both individuals are no longer employed by Aldine ISD.

“This incident is deeply concerning and should not have occurred. The district trains teachers and paraprofessionals in nonviolent crisis intervention techniques at the beginning of each school year and will reinforce that training during the remainder of this year. Aldine ISD expects all employees to conduct themselves in a manner that demonstrates the proper regard for others and does not tolerate behavior that infringes on the safety and emotional well-being of any students or staff member. In addition, the district will use its resources to protect its students and staff.

“Aldine ISD leaders will continue to work together to find solutions which provide a safe, healthy and nurturing learning environment in our schools in order to support academic achievement, respectful interactions and engagement.”

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