• CMS teacher's assistant accused of choking student

    By: Tenikka Smith


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A Charlotte-Mecklenburg teacher's assistant is off the job and under investigation days after allegations surfaced she choked a student at Nathaniel Alexander Elementary.
    The boy's mother reached out to Eyewitness News and said her special needs son is so upset, he didn't want to attend his fifth-grade graduation.
    Vashni Causcut says her 11-year-old son was scared to go to school.
    She said her special needs son has learning disabilities, behavior issues and was on a specialized learning plan at the school.
    She said the school suspended her son last week for being disrespectful to his teacher's assistant, Wendy Yates. 
    Causcut said that's when her son revealed he was afraid of Yates and claimed Yates assaulted him in class about a month before.
    "My heart just dropped," Causcut said.
    According to a report taken by CMS police on June 6, Causcut's son claimed Yates choked him, put a chair on his chest and sat on top of him while he was lying on the floor in front of his classmates.
    "A chair over a child, you don't do that," Causcut said.
    Causcut immediately contacted school and district leaders, who began an investigation.
    She also talked with her son's classmates and another parent who said Yates was also verbally aggressive with her daughter last fall.
    "She was like nose-to-nose with my daughter, up in her face," that mother said. "She verbally abused my daughter.  My daughter was crying and upset and that got me upset."
    That parent said she went to the principal and the situation was quickly resolved. 
    Channel 9 reached out to CMS regarding Causcut's complaint. 
    A district spokesperson said as of Tuesday, Yates is no longer employed with CMS, but the district could not give any details because it's a personnel matter. 
    Even though Causcut's son will be attending another school next year, she wants to see Yates punished.
    "That's my son, and I'm fighting for him and any other kids who have disabilities who might come across this," Causcut said.
    Channel 9 asked if any criminal charges could be filed against Yates, and a district spokesperson said CMS police are still investigating.

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