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Luis Murillo said his 7-year-old autistic son had kept coming home from school with bruises on his body since early in the school year. The school told him it was from children fighting, Murillo said. The child also returned home with the knees of his pants ripped out, as if he had been pulled across the ground.
The boy cannot speak but started drawing this year, and he drew like crazy with colored markers on lined paper in a binder: Pictures of stick-figure children looking scared and sad, saying “no.” Tall stick figure women — three of them — with angry brows and giant teeth. A stick figure saying “help.”
“Every time he drew, we just thought he was drawing,” Murillo said.“He needs psychological help; not only him, but the other kids, too.”
The abuse allegedly happened at Finkle Elementary School in Little Village, a mostly Mexican immigrant community on the West Side. After Murillo came forward, Jessica Sanchez was one of the next to speak out. Her eight-year-old son, who has Down syndrome, came home one day in early March with deep cuts on his face, and last Thursday came home with what looked like the mark of an adult hand on his forearm. One day, when Sanchez picked her son up for a doctor's appointment, he scurried behind her and pointed at the teacher.
Chicago Public Schools have since confirmed that the teacher and her two aides have been removed from the classroom. Both the district and police are investigating. If the allegations are true, all three of them need to go to jail for a pretty long time.