Mom accuses school employee of abusing her autistic son - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester mom accuses school employee of abusing her autistic son

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- A Rochester mom is accusing a Century High School employee of abusing her severely autistic child who can't speak, but the school system says a state investigation into what happened has been done and the case is closed.

Jade Werth's attorney obtained surveillance video from Rochester Public Schools. The video shows her son Austin and paraprofessional Raymond Paske washing windows in the hallway at Century High School in December. Paske grabbed Austin and pushed him against the window, according to Werth.

Werth said the window washing was beyond Austin's abilities. Austin has a rare genetic and seizure disorder, is severely autistic and is 100 percent nonverbal. Werth said she found out about the incident after five students reported it to a school administrative assistant. The Minnesota Department of Education called Werth about its investigation into the matter in December.

"That phone call made me literally and physically sick," Werth said. "I can't even describe to you in words how it feels as a parent."

Rochester superintendent Michael Muñoz met with Werth and held a news conference Tuesday afternoon. Muñoz said after the allegation of abuse surfaced in December, the district placed Raymond Paske on an unpaid suspension for five days pending an investigation.

Muñoz said the suspension was for having unnecessary physical contact and using unnecessary force with a student.

The district moved Paske to an entry-level probationary position where he will not work directly with any students. Muñoz called it "a last chance agreement."

"The last chance agreement states that if the employee engages in any prolific behavior or if his job performance as a maintenance worker does not meet district expectations in any way, his employment can be and will be terminated immediately," Muñoz said.

Muñoz said the district's investigation is closed.

Jade Werth said she is considering legal action against the district and Raymond Paske.

A call to Paske was not immediately returned.

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