Teacher charged with abusing non-verbal autistic students

By: Julie Snyder | C&G Newspapers | Published February 8, 2018

 Stevens

Stevens

MACOMB COUNTY A Mount Clemens woman and now former Macomb Intermediate School District, or MISD, teacher is facing multiple charges of abuse against autistic children under her care.

       

According to the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, investigators received a complaint on Feb. 2 about an MISD teacher allegedly inappropriately disciplining students.

 

Detectives spoke with several MISD employees who had witnessed the alleged incidents and brought them to the attention of school officials.

 

Information was given that Brittany Stevens, 28, was allegedly verbally and physically abusing her students, all of whom are non-verbal, autistic children 8 and 9 years old at Sequoyah Elementary School in Macomb Township. Officials said the abuse was not sexual in nature.

 

The student victims are all in good health at this time and received no serious injuries, officials report.

 

Stevens was employed by the Macomb Intermediate School District as a teacher in the Autism Impaired, or AI, program. There are AI programs housed in several schools throughout the county.

 

The MISD has notified all of the victim’s parents and has been completely cooperative with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, according to the report.

 

Two MISD representatives provided statements.

 

“The MISD’s first priority is for the safety and welfare of our students and families,”  said David Rilley, MISD Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Operations. “As a result of our internal investigation, assisted by legal counsel, we have discharged the teacher.”

 

“The MISD Administration responded promptly and appropriately to protect students, “ said MISD attorney Gary Collins, of Collins and Blaha, P.C. “We are pleased that law enforcement has acted so quickly.”

 

The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office issued three counts of second-degree child abuse against Stevens, each a 10-year felony.

 

Stevens’ attorney Daniel Randazzo said both himself and his client are unaware of what the allegations are, other than the counts issued by the prosecutor’s office.

 

“My client is very shocked at these charges,” Randazzo said. “They (prosecutors) have provided us with nothing at this point.”

 

Stevens was arraigned in the Shelby Township 41-A District Court on Feb. 7 and given a $10,000 personal bond. She is scheduled to be back in court for a probable cause conference on March 1.