It’s been over two weeks since news broke of the nearly $1 million lawsuit settlement after a teacher abused a special needs child. Over this time, a lot information as been released and it’s been somewhat of an information overload.
I’ve been working with the nice folks at the “BUSD Concerned Parents and Teachers” Facebook Group in Brentwood to put out information in a way that highlights the timeline of events.
It is our hope that this post can be used as a guide for information, rumor killers, and used to create conversations that the school board refuses to have. With so much information flying around, its easy to lose track of what has actually occurred in the heat of the moment.
The Trio involved:
- Superintendent Merrill Grant
- Loma Vista Elementary principal Lauri James
- Teacher Dina Holder
May 25, 2010
Loma Vista Elementary, Special Education Classroom. Teacher Holder removed child from seat by arm, kicked him twice on floor, in front of two adult aids. Aids removed her from classroom. Source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2013/01/family-to-receive-950000-in-teacher-abuse-settlement-.html
May 26, 2010
James was notified of incident. Holder was placed on paid administrative leave for four days
May 27, 2012
James has staff launch investigation, she was off school grounds.
May 28, 2010
James notifies CPS verbally two days after being notified by aids about incident, never submits written report, did not call Brentwood PD or parents. Discrepancy over what the reporting agency told her.
June 1, 2010
James called parents of victim and notified them an incident occurred. Parents notify Brentwood PD, when it should have been the School District.
Holder starts working at Krey Elementary.
October 6, 2011
Holder pleads “no contest” to misdemeanor child abuse charges. Remains in classroom at Krey.
January 9, 2013,
The BUSD Board voted in closed session Jan. 9 to make the settlement agreement.
January 15, 2013
Settlement of $950k announced in Contra Costa Times
January 16, 2013
Grant acknowledges that the principal did not notify police after being notified by aids of the incident. Grant states: “Teacher dismissals are very complex, very cumbersome and it takes a lot of time,”
According to the ABCNews Bakersfield, additional problems were uncovered during the legal case against Holder. They included:
- Aides testified that Holder used profanity in the classroom and spent most of the time in class playing solitaire.
- Previously, a parent told the principal that she saw Holder shaking a three-year-old child so violently that his head was shaking.
- A special needs child claimed to have been slapped by an adult at the school. The adult was later identified as Holder.
- An aide observed Holder restraining a child by taping his legs to a chair with masking tape.
- A child with down syndrome who was supposed to be in Holder’s classroom was found wandering around campus.
- It was later discovered that, according to the State of California, Holder did not have the proper credentialing to teach children with autism, of whom there were many in her class.
January 24, 2013
School Board spoke through their lawyer stating how the course of action was justified by moving her to another school while changing her grade level. It should be noted, the School Board didn’t plan for a large audience and held their meeting in too small of a room.
January 29, 2013
School district apologizes for handling of this case. Acknowledges: there was a “huge gap” in the district’s mandated reporting.
January 30, 2013
Superintendent Merrill Grant issues a formal “open letter” to Brentwood parents.
As we go forward, I encourage folks to stick to the facts and keep their eye on the end game which is ensuring this never happens again. Hold conversations, submit suggestions to the district, request explanations instead putting up with lip service. If responses from Superintendent Grant and the Board do not pass the “smell test”, continue to seek answers.
Keep up the pressure until real action occurs and the Board finally does take the appropriate action Brentwood parents are seeking.