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Ohio parents sue teacher, district, alleging abuse

– The parents of five physically and mentally disabled children have sued their former teacher, claiming she abused them for months and that school officials did nothing to stop it and later tried to cover it up.

The parents in Warren County filed a federal civil rights lawsuit last week against former teacher Amanda Kitcho.

The lawsuit also names the current and former principals of the children’s school and the district’s board of education, saying the administration ignored repeated complaints about Kitcho from her co-workers.

The allegations detailed in the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, are based on depositions of the school’s staff in January 2012 during an investigation by the district.

The parents, whose children have limited-to-no-speech abilities, didn’t learn of the allegations until July 2013.

Kitcho’s attorney said she denies all the allegations.

The school district superintendent declined to comment, citing advice from attorneys.

The lawsuit says Kitcho, 33, abused five students from November 2010 to May 2011 and specifically targeted a then-11-year-old girl with physical disorders that reduce muscle tone, motor skills and intellectual disability and limit life expectancy.

Kitcho is accused of duct-taping the girl to a chair, repeatedly forcing her to crawl on the floor even though she is dependent on a walker and frequently secluding her in a classroom bathroom despite her screams to be let out, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says Kitcho also abused the other students, alleging that the abuse continued for months even after multiple school employees complained about her.

The Warren County sheriff’s office began investigating Kitcho in February 2012. A sheriff’s investigator concluded that Kitcho was “extremely mean-spirited, verbally abusive and cruel toward these handicapped students,” the lawsuit says.

Kitcho resigned from the school district shortly thereafter.