A Texas teacher and two assistants allegedly isolated a 5-year-old special needs boy for so long that he started eating his own feces after being deprived of food.
Melody LaPointe, 47, and teaching assistants Tarah Tinney, 33, and Augusta Costlow, 27, were charged earlier this week with abandoning or endangering a child over the April 2021 incident.
Boy Also Injured Himself but Staff Members Did Nothing to Help
The trio is accused of placing the boy in an isolation room within a Liberty Independent School District facility, as reported by ABC13.
While confined to the room, the little boy fell and injured himself â but the staff allegedly did nothing to help him.They allegedly deprived him of food, forcing him to ingest his own feces and urine, authorities said.
Tinney and Costlow have resigned and LaPointe, the main teacher in the classroom, who works for another school district, has been placed on leave as well.
School District Reported the Staff After Learning of the Incident
Upon learning of the incident, Liberty ISD contacted authorities, the district said in a statement. "We immediately reported the matter to law enforcement and CPS (Child Protective Services), removed the educators who continued to work for us from the classroom, and conducted a comprehensive investigation," a district spokesman said.
"Based upon our investigation, we reported the educators to the State Board for Educator Certification and shared our results with law enforcement officials," the spokesperson added.
"Upon completion of the investigation back in 2021, none of the individuals continued in our employment from that time forward. Liberty ISD is continuing to work with the Liberty County District Attorney's office for the benefit of our children," the statement continued.
All three women were booked into the Liberty County Jail and their bond has been set at $60,000 each.