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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Parents React to Claims Against Laurel Special Ed Teacher

LAUREL, Del.- A special education teacher at North Laurel Elementary School remains suspended following accusations she used neckties to tie the hands of two fourth graders behind their backs last Tuesday.
Sixty-one-year-old Nyazina Custis is charged with unlawful imprisonment and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Custis has been teaching special education at North Laurel for many years. A teacher who allegedly witnessed the incident told Custis to untie the students and notified a supervisor. Police say Custis tied up their hands after the two fourth graders failed to follow directions.
The news has spread like wildfire through the Laurel community.    
"There's certain things you just don't do to children in general but especially to special needs children. That's just wrong," said parent Thomas O'Neil.
One parent describes the moment she found out about Tuesday's alleged incident.
"I was scared and I was very concerned," Shafonda said.
As a parent, she wants to know her son is safe inside these school walls.    
"What safety measures are being taken and also, we should have reassurance that everything is okay and everything is safe and it's okay for our kids to go to school," she said.
Reassurance is just what principal Brian Swain wants to give parents like Shafonda.
"These are legitimate concerns," Swain said. "I have a daughter. My heart goes right out to them."
Swain said he sees what is going on in the school, with daily classroom walk-through's. And he wants parents to know this is very much an isolated incident.

"As soon as it was reported, the Laurel school district responded immediately," he said. "These types of actions are unacceptable and with the alleged things that did occur, it's in police hands right now but parents need to know their child is safe here, from the moment they walk on this property to when they leave."
Custis turned herself in to police on Friday.
Police and the school board are conducting investigations on the incident.
Swain said neither of the two students involved were injured as a result of the alleged incident.

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