• Mother sues school district over voicemail mocking special needs daughter

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    CLAYSVILLE, Pa. - A mother is suing a local school district, claiming teachers mocked her daughter, who has disabilities.

    "She could coal mine ... She could be a good coal miner!"

    "She has a pretty smile.  Her teeth are crooked!"

    "She can walk!"

    Those are just some of the insults that accidentally left in a voicemail on Beth Suhon's phone. The voices on the other end are her daughter’s former Claysville Elementary School teachers..


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    "They have no respect for children, especially children with special needs,” Suhon said.

    A teacher initially called Suhon in February 2015 to inform her that her daughter was struggling in school. But he never properly hung up the phone and continued to talk.

    "It was very difficult for me to tell my child who has been bullied by her peers for years that she was now being bullied by her teachers,” Suhon said. "Adults can be bullies too."

    Suhon's daughter has Turner's Syndrome, which causes developmental and learning issues. She says she never would have thought the people she trusted with her child would act like this.

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    Suhon has now sued Washington County's McGuffey School District in federal court.

    She claims the school district discriminated against her child, retaliated when she addressed the issues and even wrongfully got rid of her daughter's special needs plan.

    Suhon hopes the teachers learn a lesson.

    "I would like for the school district to acknowledge that they have teachers that obviously need counseling,” she said.

    Suhon is also asking for damages, but said an amount has not yet been discussed.

    Channel 11 reached out to the school district for comment, but they have not returned messages.


     

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