Trina Abrams, a former special education teacher in Kentucky, pleaded ‘not guilty’ to assault after she was recorded on a surveillance camera dragging a child down a hallway.
The incident happened at Wurtland Elementary School, which is part of the Greenup County School District in Kentucky, in October 2018. Abrams has since been let go from the school district.
The boy in the video was 9 years old and his parents say he is diagnosed with autism. His mother, Angel Nelson, posted the surveillance video on Facebook. It has been viewed nearly 200,000 times.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Abrams is Seen on the Surveillance Video Dragging the Child By His Wrists
The recorded incident happened October 24, 2018. The child’s mother, Angel Nelson, shared it to Facebook after obtaining the surveillance video from the school. The faces of the other children in the shot have all been blurred.
In the video, you can see Abrams dragging the child out of a classroom. It’s unclear what happened before they entered the hallway. Another woman, presumably another teacher, does not appear to say anything as they move past her.
Abrams and the boy move out of the frame. She is heard asking him, “You want to walk?” He responds “no” and she drags him again down the hallway.
In another angle, Abrams asks him again if he wants to walk. She is seen telling the boy to “get up” and tries to lift him into a standing position. But he refuses to stand, so she continues to drag him while he’s sliding on his knees.
2. The School District Informed Social Services & Opened an Investigation
The Greenup County School Superintendent, Sherry Horsley, explained in a statement that the district contacted the child’s parents after learning what had taken place. The school also called social services officials, who in turn brought police into the investigation.
ABC affiliate WCHS shared the full statement from the school which read in full:
“The Greenup County School District prioritizes the safety of our students. The district followed established safety protocol as soon as this situation became known. The parent was contacted immediately and the student was assessed by the school nurse and referred for outside medical evaluation. Child Protective Services was contacted and the Kentucky State Police opened an investigation. The teacher was removed from the school and a formal investigation was conducted. The superintendent also followed protocol and reported the incident to the Kentucky Education Standards Board. The EPSB determines whether or not a teacher keeps their teaching certificate. All GCSD staff are trained to prevent incidents of restraint. Each school has a specially trained team to address immediate issues. In addition, each school has teachers specially trained to address autism related behaviors.”
3. Trina Abrams Was Charged With Misdemeanor Assault & Reportedly Plans to Fight it In Court
Trina Abrams was charged with fourth-degree assault against a victim under 12 years old. Under Kentucky law, it is a misdemeanor which carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and a maximum $500 fine.
Abrams faced a judge on January 9, 2019, in Greenup County District Court. Her last name was spelled “Abrahms” in the court filing.
She pleaded “not guilty” to the charge. Abrams’ attorney, Matthew Wisecup, indicated that a plea deal is not in the gameplan. He told the Daily Independent newspaper that Abrams “certainly disputes the charges against her and it is our intention to fight them in court.”
4. The Boy Has Been Tranferred to Another Elementary School
The third-grade child dragged down the hallway has been diagnosed with autism, depression, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, according to his parents. Angel Nelson, his mother, says her son is known to have sudden outbursts.
She explained to the Daily Independent that Trina Abrams, as the resource teacher, was called to the classroom after his teacher realized he was getting upset. Nelson said her son “experienced regression” and needed therapy in order to recover from the incident.
The child was transferred to another elementary school in the Greenup school district.
5. Trina Abrams Is Prohibited From Working in a School While the Case Continues
Trina Abrams was “removed from the school” following the dragging incident. But her name was still listed as a resource teacher on the school’s website as of January 9, 2019.
Part of Abrams’ bond agreement is that she not work in a school as long as the case is ongoing.