Teacher accused of slapping child with autism

Posted at 5:23 PM, Jan 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-14 00:15:25-05

A Vallivue School District employee faces a lawsuit and an injury to a child charge after she was accused of slapping a six-year-old autistic student in the face.

A tort claim filed by the boy’s family claims Lisa Carriere, a speech therapist at West Canyon Elementary in Caldwell, struck the child earlier this month.

The claim says West Canyon staff in the room heard a slap and witnessed Carriere leave the classroom.

Court documents go on to say staff examined the boy who was “acting strange and guarding his face,” and claimed that he had a red hand-shaped mark on his face. The documents also say the boy had redness and swelling on his face, a loosened tooth, and an abrasion inside of his mouth.

Staff members informed West Canyon Elementary principal Cindy Dodd of the incident believing that Carriere had hit the child intentionally.

The tort filing says Carriere later admitted to hitting the child, but claimed that he became aggressive and was going to charge her. Carriere said she feared for her life.

In a press release from Matt Andrew, attorney for Skaug Law, the boy is said to be only four feet tall and weighs 66 pounds. The family is suing for $2500 in damages.

"There were failures here, not just in terms of an individual losing control and losing their mind and making the decision to slap a 6 year old autistic child who cant speak, but also with administration that didn't know what to do when a very serious incident occured between a teacher and a student. They just did not handle it appropriatly," said Andrew.  

Vallivue School District Superintendent Patrick Charlton called the situation an “unfortunate incident,” saying Carriere has been an “exemplary employee for the last 16 years.”

Lisa Carriere was charged with misdemeanor injury to a child on January 5th following the incident and has been on administrative leave from the school according to Superintendent Charlton.

Carriere has a court hearing on January 22nd at 9:00 am.