Two weeks after her autistic son came home with bruises on his neck and face, allegedly at the hands of his teacher, a frustrated Michele Smith complained to Antioch's top two special education administrators.
She says she received a stunning response: They asked her not to call police.
"They just wanted to sweep it under the carpet," Smith said in an interview.
That Dec. 10 conference call is one of the most incendiary revelations in an abuse scandal that has entangled the Antioch Unified School District since the filing of a federal lawsuit last week. Along with the suit filed by three families, lawyers released an email from Antioch special education director David Wax in which he tells colleagues he "de-escalated" Smith during the call, convincing her not to report the allegations against Mno Grant Elementary teacher Theresa Allen-Caulboy to police or the media.
This week, Smith described her end of the conversation to this newspaper.
"They said, 'We can handle it, you don't have to go make police reports,'" Smith said. "I don't trust them at all. They failed my child."
Administrators launched an internal investigation, as they told Smith they would, but did not report the suspicions of abuse to police or Child Protective Services as the law requires. But they failed to contain the scandal: Smith ignored Wax's request and went to police the same day.Last week, KGO-TV reported: