LONG BEACH - Long Beach parents are demanding answers after accusations that a special education teacher physically and verbally abused autistic students in class.
Five parents have filed a lawsuit saying that their children were verbally and physically abused by Long Beach teacher Lisa Weitzman.
"There was an ongoing pattern of abuse going back to 2011, where the teacher was doing a number of horrible things to children, including locking a student in the bathroom in violation of time-out standards. Another student was zip tied to the chair as punishment, another child was being sprayed with Lysol," says Jim Mulvaney, the parent of a special-needs adult and the private investigator for several of the parents.
Mulvaney says that since the children are non-verbal, the parents did not know about the alleged abuse until they received an anonymous letter in the fall of 2015.
The lawsuit alleges the Long Beach school district knew about the alleged abuse because 11 teaching assistants who worked part time in Weitzman's classroom told their direct supervisor about the abusive actions.
Mulvaney says the school district did not report the alleged abuse to the police or other law enforcement agencies as required by state education law.
The Long Beach school district issued a statement saying it complied with federal and state requirements to report the alleged abuse. News 12 spoke with the Nassau County Police Department and a spokesman said as of Thursday, they had no record of such a complaint being made.
The Nassau County District Attorney's Office says it is reviewing the case and will continue to monitor it.
A hearing was held Thursday to determine what will happen to Weitzman's job. Currently, she is on paid leave. Her attorney says that she denies all allegations and that the Long Beach school district is retaliating against her for advocating for the students.