URBANDALE, Iowa — A first-grade teacher in Urbandale claims another teacher abused a disabled student, and the district is trying to cover it up.
“One of my students who is autistic and nonverbal was harmed by another educator to the point that there was blood in my classroom,” says Amanda Delzell. “The next day I went in and watched the cameras and what I saw was my student’s IEP and Behavior Plan not being followed and the result was serious injury to him. I saw his teacher standing over him allowing him to self-harm, and using her foot to push him down the hall. He was crying out while in the fetal position.”
Delzell says she was worried about her student’s safety and his parents being informed about what had happened. She went to her bosses with her concerns repeatedly and was told the matter was under investigation and confidential.
“So there were a lot of people that were aware of what happened, but the parents not one of them,” said Delzell.
Ten days after the incident, Delzell was reprimanded for talking about it. “I’m on the leadership team, a model teacher, a mentor teacher,” she says – providing the documentation to back it up, “and then right after parents found out I got a letter of reprimand saying I wasn’t meeting standards.”
Then last week she was informed that she was being placed on administrative leave.
As for the teacher she says she saw hurting a student…”That teacher is still employed by our school district and is still working with some of our most vulnerable and non-verbal children.”
Delzell says she believes the Urbandale School District is coming after her job and her teaching license. I asked her why she decided to talk about what was happening.
“Being a teacher is my favorite part of my life, I love my kids, I love going to school,” she says while fighting back tears, “they took that from me when they put me on leave. I think parents need to know that this can happen in their school district. If you lose sight of kids’ safety, then what are we doing as a district?”
It’s been a week since Delzell was placed on administrative leave. She says administrators told her an investigator would be reaching out to her but so far, she hasn’t been contacted by anyone.
An attorney representing the child in this case says a complaint has been filed with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and the case is currently under investigation.
The Urbandale School District declined to provide comment for the story, citing privacy laws.