KEIA HANNAH said no words could describe how she feels about the way her autistic son was mistreated by his teacher, and the way his principal has refused to get answers.
She has noticed a change in Krisire's behavior since he began the school year at a kindergarten special-education class at the Vare School in South Philadelphia, she said
He started wetting the bed again and frequently lost his temper, she said. She noticed bruises soon afterward.
"[Krisire] would come [home from school] with a scratch on his face," she said. "His skin on his arms was red and irritated like he was pinched. He even came home with a bruise on his right hip."
She confronted his teacher, Stephanie Shane, who told her he'd injured himself when he fell in the classroom or during recess or while roughhousing with classmates, Hannah said.
But another school employee who did not want to be interviewed for fear of reprisal told Hannah a different story. Shane was hitting Krisire, Hannah said she was told.
"She told me she's seen her take him into the coat closet and he'd come back out crying," said Hannah, a parent volunteer at the school. "I knew something was wrong when he refused to go into the closet [in his classroom]. He never wanted to be near his teacher."
Once, she said she was told, Krisire hit his head on a bookshelf he was climbing after Shane yanked his foot when he refused to get down.
Shane, who's been with the district since August 2005, according to public records, wouldn't discuss the allegations.
"I'm not going to talk about this at this point in time," she said.
A district spokesman said the school's principal, Joanne Capriotti, was investigating the allegations. He added that no incident reports had been filed, though he said Shane and an assistant teacher who worked with her had accused each other of misconduct.
Hannah, who has filed a police report and requested that her son be transferred to another class, believes Capriotti is covering for Shane. Attempts to reach Capriotti were not successful.
"I tried to talk to the principal about it, but she kept interrupting me saying that she couldn't see [Shane] doing this," said Hannah, who called the Daily News after she became frustrated with the district.
"She's coming to [Shane's] defense when her main priority is this child.
"She thinks she can get away with this, but I'm not giving up."