LONG BEACH - A group of parents is suing the Long Beach school district for $25 million, alleging that one of its special education teachers physically and mentally abused five students.

According to the lawsuit filed by the parents, the Long Beach Middle School teacher encouraged a male student to masturbate in front of his other classmates, dug the heels of her stiletto shoes into the feet of a student, and restrained students with zip ties and duct tape.

The parents are asking the district for $25 million in damages, claiming administrators disregarded complaints about the alleged abuse and tried to cover them up.

The attorney for the parents says the children are non-verbal with autism and Down syndrome.

According to court papers, at least 11 former classroom aides reported the teacher's abusive actions but the district didn't do anything about it.

The school superintendent issued a statement saying the district had not been served with any legal papers in the matter and that Long Beach has complied and will continue to comply with all complaints to the district regarding possible abuse or mistreatment of their students.