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Atlanta superintendent responds to video showing alleged abuse of disabled kids

Posted at 2:31 PM, Apr 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-24 14:31:44-04

ATLANTA (WGCL) — Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll Davis responded to video that appears to show two teachers physically abusing children with extreme disabilities.

“I was shocked, outraged and you have to add profoundly disappointed,” said Davis.

A teacher at Harper-Archer Middle School set up a camera inside her classroom after she said numerous complaints to the school’s principal, about her paraprofessionals’ unprofessional behavior, were ignored.

“We are looking into all of the communications that took place,” said Davis.

The video appears to show Alger Coleman III and Keisha Smith repeatedly physically abusing two boys.

The video was recorded in February. Atlanta police arrested Coleman in March and charged him with cruelty to children. The report says he caused malicious and excessive pain.

Smith has not been charged. APS fired Coleman but reassigned Smith outside the classroom pending a disciplinary hearing.

“Coleman was an hourly employee and does not have the statutory rights that the other employee has,” said Davis. “We had to sit hundreds of teachers on the sideline until their due process runs its course. We are back in that situation.”

Click here for updates on this story from WGCL.