Third grader thrown across room by school worker, lawsuit claims

A lawsuit filed by the mother of a third grader says a Multnomah Education Service District worker inflicted illegal corporal punishment by throwing the student with disabilities across a room.

The complaint says Tiria Jones’ 9-year-old son, who has autism, had attended Four Creeks School for just days when the incident occurred on Sept. 7, 2021, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

The complaint was filed March 14 in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

"The district needs to understand the harm this caused and make changes to keep all students safe from abuse in the future," Jones said in a statement.

The suit seeks $700,000 in damages for physical injuries and emotional harm.

Laura Conroy, a spokesperson for the Multnomah Education Service District, called the allegations "deeply concerning" but declined to comment on pending litigation. She wouldn’t say if the district still employed the worker.

The lawsuit says the worker was placed on leave after the incident.

The district initially said Jones’ son had been placed in restraints and separated from his class for climbing on top of a bookshelf and kicking and spitting at staff, according to the suit.

When Jones asked to see surveillance video, however, it showed a school worker grabbing her son after he tried to open a locked door and ripped paper off the door, according to the lawsuit.

The worker hauled the student down a hall and pushed him into a seclusion room, but the boy stuck his foot in the door and the worker picked him up and threw him across the room, causing the student to strike his head, the lawsuit alleges.

Four Creeks Principal Nicole Hilton told Jones about the worker’s leave and wrote to her, according to the lawsuit: "My heart is heavy over the events that transpired. I can’t imagine how you are feeling."

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