MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Two school employees are on administrative leave following accusations of abuse involving children with special needs at a Berkeley County elementary school.
Martinsburg Police Chief Maury Richards has confirmed to MetroNews affiliate WEPM that his department responded to the school on October 5, but they are not currently involved in the investigation. Officers received a complaint from the parent of a six year-old saying her child was being harassed by members of the school’s staff.
“After carefully reviewing all evidence available at the time, the police were unable to determine the elements of a criminal offense. An MPD officer immediately visited Berkeley
Heights Elementary School and personally notified the school administration of the allegation.
If evidence of a criminal incident arises either from the current third-party investigation
being conducted by the Berkeley County Schools or other sources, the Martinsburg Police Department
will respond accordingly.”
Berkeley County Schools also released a statement to WEPM in regard to the incident.
“Upon notification, the Offices of Special Education and Human Resources began working immediately to address the parental concerns. The allegations made against those involved are being reviewed by a third-party investigator.”
Multiple parents, who wish to remain anonymous, have contacted WEPM about a recording on social media. The recording allegedly depicts a student with special needs being verbally threatened.
One parent said their child was in the room where the alleged events on the recording took place. The parent indicated the incident was reported to the school’s administration immediately after it was discovered.
“My son was threatened, hit, called names and made fun of,” the parent said. “He no longer is enrolled in the school, I pulled him out. There needs to be justice for this child and the staff needs to be held accountable for their actions.”
Berkeley County Schools confirmed Thursday two school employees have been placed on administrative leave as the investigation continues.
“The health and well-being of all students is crucial to their education and personal development, and such allegations are taken very seriously.”
This story will be updated.
WEPM’s Marsha Chwalik contributed to this story.