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3 Texas women charged over abuse of special needs child

An investigation into the reported abuse of a 5-year-old Texas special needs student led to the arrest of three former school district employees last week.

Former Liberty ISD teacher Melody Michel LaPointe, 47, and former teaching assistants Tarah Michelle Tinney, 33, and Augusta Danielle Costlow, 27, are accused of confining the 5-year-old boy to a room alone, which led to him getting injured, and subsequently failing to take the child to get proper medical attention in 2021, court documents said. ABC-13 reports the child also ingested their own feces and urine when he was deprived of food by the three adults in charge of him.

The three women were arrested and charged with four counts each of abandoning or endangering a child. LaPointe was arrested at Bonnie P. Hopper Primary School where she is employed and has since been placed on administrative leave, according to to a statement by Liberty ISD. The matter was also reported to law enforcement at CPS immediately after learning of the allegations, the district said, and all three women were “removed” from the classroom. The women were also reported to the State Board for Educator Certification.

“In an effort of full transparency, we want to inform our families of an incident that occurred yesterday during dismissal. A teacher at Bonnie P. Hopper Primary School was arrested yesterday by Liberty County constables. The cause for arrest occurred in Liberty County and is not affiliated with Goose Creek CISD in any way,” the statement said. “The teacher is currently placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of an investigation, after which the District will take appropriate disciplinary action. As this is a pending legal matter, Goose Creek CISD will allow the legal process to proceed and refrain from further comment.We want to ensure our families that the safety and security of your children is our #1 concern. We thank you for your continuous support of our campus and our district.”

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