ANTIOCH (KRON) — California Attorney General Kamala Harris is speaking about her investigation into the Antioch special needs school Tobinworld, where a disturbing video was shot allegedly showing abuse taking place at the school.
The video appears to show a teacher’s aide being violent with a 9-year-old student in her care.
The news of this investigation is coming on the heels of KRON’s series of reports unearthing other allegations of abuse at the Tobinworld school.
“We are concerned, and we are doing something about it,” Harris said.
The state attorney general is talking the investigation launched by the Bureau of Children’s Justice. It is focusing on Tobinworld, where alleged abuse was caught on tape, as well as other non-public schools relating to their treatment of students with disabilities. The recently formed department of the Department of Justice is looking into potential civil rights violations of the most vulnerable in our system.
On Tuesday, former aides spoke out to KRON News alleging other students at Tobinworld were restrained too aggressively, too often, and for too long. They are testifying in front of DOJ investigators after being hit with subpoenas.
Harris couldn’t give specifics about the investigation but said she wanted to come forward about what her agency is looking into.
“To encourage victims to come forward and to let the public know that these children do matter…,” Harris said.
Adrianne Pantell said she is happy that the attorney general is looking into what is happening at Tobinworld and other schools like it. She filed a lawsuit against the school after what she said happened to her disabled son when he attended Tobinworld when he was 8 years old.
“They would just throw him to the floor, they would sit on him, sometimes two to four hours at a time, he would get bloody noses, they would withhold food as punishment,” Pantell said. “There were times where they wouldn’t let him use the bathroom, so he was sitting in wet pants all day until I picked him up.”
She said she knew she had to pull him out when she saw bruises on her son’s body and asked him where they came from.
“And he said, ‘Mommy, that’s when they throw me down and they sit on me, that’s when they restrain me’,” Pantell said. “He said, ‘Isn’t that why you sent me there because my brain doesn’t work like everybody else’s?'”
So far, KRON has had no response from Tobinworld about Adrianne’s claims.
Meanwhile, the attorney general is looking for people like Adrianne to come forward via the Bureau of Children’s Justice website.
Here is the link: https://oag.ca.gov/bcj/investigations