• Parent of autistic boy says she wasn't alerted to assault

    By: Jim Bradley


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A Charlotte mother says she's angry with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools for not telling her about a reported assault on her son at school last May.

    "I send my son to school to get an education, not to be assaulted," said Jennifer Harper.

    Her son, Taverus Harper, is a 10-year-old boy who is both blind and autistic. He attends Pinewood Elementary in South Charlotte.

    In May, police were called to the school after the principal reported that a staff member had assaulted Taverus. However, the school never contacted Taverus' mother to tell her about the incident. It wasn't until this past weekend, when a third party told her about the incident.

    Harper says she was told that a "teacher took her arm and put it around his neck and kind of lifted him off the ground, choking him."

    Jennifer Harper tracked down the police report and contacted CMS to ask why five months had passed without anyone from the school contacting her.

    After Eyewitness News contacted CMS, the school system issued a statement apologizing for the "lapse in communication." But CMS says its investigation of the incident found no wrongdoing on the part of any staff member.

    Still, Jennifer Harper says she's concerned. "To this day I don't know, you didn't give me a chance to get him checked out," she said. Harper says she doesn't accept the CMS apology and plans to have her son moved to a different school.

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